About 74% of patients who sought treatment at 758 clinics nationwide that are licensed to prescribe medical marijuana products reported a positive outcome following their appointments, according to the Public Health Ministry on Sunday.
During a visit to a clinic at Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna in Nan, Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha said the results affirmed the ministry’s stance in promoting the use of cannabis as an alternative medical treatment. For some patients, the treatment worked well.
Cannabis-based concoctions have been prescribed to treat patients with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, as well as pain associated with cancers and other chronic illnesses, he said.
In total, the ministry has authorised 758 clinics across the country to provide cannabis-based treatments — 419 of which are traditional Thai medicine clinics, while the rest are general medical practices.
To educate the public about the benefits of cannabis-based medicines, the ministry has also founded the Medical Cannabis Institute to promote research into cosmetics, food products and health supplements.
According to Mr Sathit, 300 social enterprises have received the required permits from the Public Health Ministry to produce cannabis extracts, oils and other tinctures used in traditional Thai medicines.
The campus trip was part of a larger visit by Public Health Ministry executives, which came to Nan to inspect the development of the province’s licensed cannabis clinics and social enterprises.
The ministry’s executives chose to visit Nan as several social enterprises in this northern province have been praised for their effort to add value to the region’s cannabis crop.
One notable example is the Nam Kian Community in Phu Chiang district, which was licensed by the Public Health Ministry to grow cannabis, which they use to produce a wide range of products, such as medicines, cosmetics and food ingredients.
The community, the ministry said, annually makes about 15 million baht.