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Thailand’s first cannabis dispensary opens to huge crowds

At the cookie grand opening in Bangkok, Thailand over the weekend, Leafly caught up with locals, tourists and operators to find out how the country pioneered the cannabis revolution in Asia.


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US-based cannabis company Biscuit Today, Friday, a new dispensary opened in one of the most trafficked areas in Thailand, Bangkok’s Pathumwan district.

(Mikhail Harrison / Leafly)

The new cannabis store is Cookie’s 58th storefront and makes Thailand the sixth country on the brand’s global list. The opening also marks a milestone in the popularization of cannabis in Asia, where many countries still heavily ban the plant — times seem to be changing quickly.

Cookies Bangkok now welcomes all adults aged 20 and over with valid local ID cards or passports. After cannabis was removed from Thailand’s drug list in June last year, thousands of unlicensed stores and dozens of legal ones have sprung up to meet the demand. Medical marijuana was legalized for the first time At the end of 2018but extensive regulations and supply chains are still a work in progress.

Leafly contributor Mikhail Harrison celebrates with Thai performers at the Cookies Thailand shop in Bangkok. (Marlon Holmes)

Right now, growers, hunters, and free tokens are enjoying a golden age of access, variety, and quality of hemp. Behind the smoke, the Thai parliament is working quickly to introduce legislation regulating the cultivation, sale and consumption of weed, which could shut down the gray market as soon as 2024.

Cookie’s partner Josh Schmidt, who is vice president of California-based Natura Agriculture and co-founder of Dee Thai THC-infused gummiesHe has drawn inspiration from the cannabis culture in Thailand throughout his life. Dee Thai candy comes in a range of natural fruit flavors native to Thailand. Schmidt said he envisions Cookies Thailand as the “UN” of cannabis in the future, where swarms of smokers from all over the world could congregate and soar. He plans to open four more stores in Thailand in the coming years.

Over the historic weekend in Bangkok, Leafly visited stores and chatted with locals and tourists to find out how Thai pioneers and activists made possible the country’s thriving medical and gray markets. Keep scrolling to find out why patients, growers, and U.S. weed giants like Cookie and Natura are keen to share about the rich history of Thailand’s cannabis community as they look ahead to its bright future.

When did Thailand legalize cannabis?

In 2018, Thailand became the first country in South Asia to legalize cannabis when it approved a new medical program. South Korea, Lebanon and Israel are the only other Asian countries with some kind of medical access at the moment. By contrast, many Asian countries still impose harsh penalties on possession, cultivation, and distribution. For example, hashish smuggling in the Philippines and Malaysia is said to be punishable by death, although Malaysia She is now working on creating a medical program.

Cookies in Thailand is located at 51/2 Soi Ruamrudee, Lumpinee, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330. You can find out more at Cookies or on Store’s Instagram page. In addition to meeting the age requirement of 20 and having a valid form of identification, local laws state that visitors cannot be pregnant. Although Thailand’s laws only allow medical dispensaries, the huge demand and supply for the plant has led to a gray market catering to essentially all adults.

Thailand’s longstanding influence on the world’s weed

Thailand has long been famous in weed circles globally, thanks to ground-up strains like Thai aka stick thai which grew in popularity in the United States in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s along with famous descendants such as Thai chocolate. American soldiers stationed in Vietnam and other Asian countries have been known to smuggle cannabis and other prohibited plants into the United States. Stick Thai was one of the most popular exports, even getting a shout out in the infamous comedy by Cheech and Chong in 1978. up in the smoke.

Cookie’s global footprint extends to Thailand

Opening cookies has been delayed since August, thanks to a number of partners. The shop is not wholly owned or funded by cookies. Instead, longtime Berner associate Josh Schmidt has turned his personal connections to Thailand and the knowledge he gained as vice president of Natura in California into a dream screenplay.

“This shop is beautiful and we are grateful to our partners on the ground in Thailand who helped make this happen,” said Schmidt at the opening, along with cookie bigwigs like Luca Brazi and Alexis Major. aka Mr. and Mrs. Jumbo. Co-Founder of Cookies Sixty He was also at hand. “Thailand is an incredibly unique place full of wonderful culture, and I am grateful to open this cookie shop with the support of the state of Thailand,” to reporters in Bangkok in the first day. “I hope Bangkok is ready for an exclusive list of fire genes,” Schmidt added.

Golden Triangle Health is a Thai cannabis company co-founded by Thai investor Tom Kruesophon that helps Western countries enter the Thai market. Great Earth International, a food and beverage company with a variety of brands, owns the property where the Cookies Thailand dispensary is located.

Changing a long history of bans and cultural stigma

China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Russia It has some of the harshest penalties for cannabis, including execution, long-term imprisonment, and corporal (physical) punishment. Thailand’s recent adoption of cannabis has improved the perception of cannabis in Asia and helped it become more popular.

In 2018, Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize medical marijuana, and so did the plant It was decriminalized in June of 2022. The first full-time medical cannabis clinic opened in Bangkok in January 2020, but like New York City, a gray market of unlicensed stores quickly emerged across Thailand. there now Thousands of unorganized stores Across the country, which has a population of 71.6 million people–nearly twice the population of California.

What is it like to visit a weed dispensary in Thailand?

Some dispensaries give Workshops on rolling joints and brewing “herbal tea”. There are also ‘high yoga’ classes, where a shared meal, drink and snack are included in the admission price. Signature cookie strains like London pound cake and Girl Scout Cookies were on sale for US$27 per gram. The more affordable strain is the locally made Thai Loy, which costs about $15 a gram, on par with most local menu prices.

Can you grow weed in Thailand?

The tropical climate of Thailand is not ideal for growing all strains outdoors, but some sativa plants have been known to thrive in the environment. There are also a number of indoor growers on the scene. The cookie store was originally going to import cannabis from its supply chains in Canada or Israel, but instead chose to partner with local operators like Sukhumweed Industries to source the products. The company’s founder said he wanted to protect the emerging Thai market from foreign domination. We’ve seen a number of impressive farming and retail operations that would make smokers in many legal US states jealous.

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