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Bangkok Embraces Cannabis Cafe Culture

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It may not be Amsterdam, but Thailand is taking a stab at infused cannabis reform.

Thailand, which enacted cannabis reform as of Christmas Day, 2018, as a “gift” to the Thai people, has slowly begun to define a domestic cannabis culture. This, also despite the rigors of the Covid-19 Pandemic, includes retail establishments like cafes and restaurants that are reaching into traditional cuisine and culture to create a host of CBD-infused delicacies, from teas to food infusions.

On December 9, 2020, most of the cannabis plant, except for THC-rich flowers, has been decriminalized formally for commercial, licensed purposes. The Health Ministry is still responsible for dispensing these.

The first “cannabis cafe” has now even opened in the Thai capital, serving products sourced from an authorized local farm. 

They also have competition from another establishment – a dessert shop that plans to sell sweets infused with cannabis.

However, Bangkok is not the only city to see cannabis cuisine pop up in the country. In Prachinburi province, a new cafe and restaurant began offering cannabis-infused dishes, including deep-fried cannabis leaves and pizza.

This entrepreneurial boost is, of course, notably happening during COVID-19. When travel opens again, Thailand is sure to be ready for them, with its new cannabis offerings.

Cannabis Tourism After COVID-19

The Thai embrace of the regulated industry, albeit without the THC, is in marked contrast to the Dutch take on the same – notably in the city of Amsterdam. Pot tourism, generally, is not popular right now in Europe, in direct contrast to say, Thai efforts. 

What will happen in the aftermath of COVID-19, however, is very much in the air. In multiple jurisdictions, access to the drug has noticeably shrunk thanks to Pandemic-related measures. It is unlikely to stay stuffed in this box as restrictions lift.

This is especially true in Europe right now – where the Dutch recreational tender is still unresolved, and as Luxembourg eyes its own on-ramp to the discussion, now scheduled for the end of this year if not early next.

There is also, of course, Greece, which has hovered over the discussion for the last several years as the country continues to try to rebuild its own economy, which already cannot be entirely disentangled from at least the medical cannabis conversation.

Post–andemic, the discussion of retail establishments operating legitimately in the biz, whether they are geared to a local or visiting audience is going to be hot stuff.

Be sure to book your tickets now to the International Cannabis Business Conference when it returns to Berlin, Summer 2021.