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ResourcesCorporate and Tax AdvisoryThailand Corporate LawThai Hemp Business: Will Foreign Corporate Ownership be Possible?

Thai Hemp Business: Will Foreign Corporate Ownership be Possible?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the hemp business here in the Kingdom. There has been a lot of discussion on medical marijuana, medical cannabis and hemp. This specific video is discussing hemp specifically and when we say hemp we are talking about the industrial cannabis by-products that come from hemp; not marijuana in the sense of the kind that is smoked, the kind that contains THC, the medicinal kind of hemp, cannabis and marijuana. This is specifically industrial hemp we are discussing.

There was a recent article from Khaosod English, that is khaosodenglish.com, titled:  Weed Laws: Cannabis License and Foreigners Growing Hemp.  It is written by Wirot Poonsuwan, Attorney at Law, so a Thai Attorney on this. I am going to quote very briefly from this and provide a little bit of analysis of my own.  Quoting directly: "Hemp - Lastly, it would be remiss to mention these remarkable changes without discussing hemp, a plant that could help revitalize the Thai economy.  A little known fact is that foreigners can grow hemp by 2021.  According to the law, companies where foreigners control no larger than 33% of shares will be allowed to grow hemp for commercial medicinal purposes in 2021 after the 3 year government trial projects in Northern provinces end in 2020.” 

So the thing to take away from this video is "yes, foreigners may be able to get into the industrial hemp business". It is my understanding hemp is quite a cash crop especially with respect to things like paper, rope, various kinds of fiber; various clothing is made from hemp. It is quite a resilient material and it can be, like I said, quite a cash crop. It would appear that starting in 2021, at least according to this attorney who is writing this article, and again I urge those who are watching this video go check out that article.  There is a far more than what I quoted in there. I am specifically talking about this from one specific vantage point. 

But this is interesting to me because in the United States it is my understanding that most of the initiatives to get cannabis and marijuana legalized for medicinal purposes and recreational purposes there hasn't quite been the same drive with respect to industrial hemp.  I suspect there are various reasons for that most notably there is a much more sophisticated and grownup industrial sector that may be lobbying against hemp whereas here in Thailand, I think that there is much more support for bringing hemp online as a possible cash crop especially in certain provinces of Thailand.  I would even maybe argue that industrial hemp or hemp production may actually turn out to be much more of a driving force economically with respect to the development of marijuana and cannabis policy here in the Kingdom moving forward when compared to the more medicinal or recreational aspects of this particular product. My reasoning for that is because they could in theory grow a lot of it and it is very useful as an industrial product. 

Again all of this remains to be seen. It remains relatively pure speculation but I suspect that so long as the hemp is grown in accordance with the Narcotics Control Board and is not being used as a way by subterfuge to get involved with the different kinds of marijuana products, it is simply for industry, I could see this being a major shift with respect to the Thai economy and how it deals not only with agribusiness but also it could it could have a tremendous impact on the industrial sector here as hemp can be used for all kinds of things which currently I believe Thailand hasn't even gotten into any of these businesses or at least some of them.  

So it remains to be seen exactly how this is going to work out but we will make further videos as things progress.