Thailand targets tourism boost with marijuana meals, cosmetics
Thailand plans to introduce a curriculum to promote the use of marijuana in meals and cosmetics as the South Asian nation seeks to ride a wave of growing demand for cannabis to lure foreign tourists.
The health and education ministries signed an agreement on Wednesday to create a module that will impart training in recipes and methods to produce meals and products from marijuana. The courses will initially be offered at educational institutions in regions with community enterprises allowed to grow the plant, the health ministry said in a statement.
Thailand, which was one of the first countries in Asia to legalize medical marijuana in 2019, has further eased curbs on its use in textiles, herbal cosmetics and food products. Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the wider use of the crop can strengthen Thailand’s agriculture and tourism industry that’s been hit hard by the pandemic restrictions.
The marijuana curriculum will be designed to “meet market demand, be legal, modern, safe and beneficial to the health and economy,” Anutin said in the statement. Marijuana-based spicy herbal soup, basil stir-fried meat, as well as dessert menus like cookies and sorbets have the potential to grow the industry, he said.
“Once the country is opened, these will be the new must-taste menu that everyone will want to try,” Anutin said.
A resurgence in Covid-19 infections since mid-December and tough quarantine requirement have kept foreign tourists away from a country popular for its beaches and cultural sites. While Thailand is seeking to cash in on the popularity of marijuana among tourists, its recreational use remains forbidden. Those found in possession and trafficking could be punished with long prison terms and large fines.
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