Rangsit University has announced that they will be adding a new undergraduate program called, “Ganja Studies Department.”
Rangsit University will play an interesting role as Thailand opens up to legalization of cannabis. While marijuana was once a integral part of Thai traditional medicine and marijuana once flourished in the country, several decades of crackdowns on drug use and possession has left Thailand with very few people skilled in growing the plant or who have studied the health benefits and issues surrounding it.
Meanwhile, Thailand is also very cautious about importing even medical marijuana as they want to avoid becoming dependent on large international companies when they feel that medical marijuana could be a large cash crop for the Thai economy.
Yet, even among marijuana supporters, there are some that are concerned that moving too rapidly would make it too easy for one or two large domestic companies to control the entire market.
The new undergraduate program will be administered by the school’s Agricultural Innovation Facility, where students will learn the history and medicinal qualities of the plant and cultivation techniques.
The aim would be to nurture skills within Thailand with less reliance on foreign corporations.
Rangsit has been given roughly 40 kilograms of marijuana previously confiscated in drug arrests. While the university notes that much of it is low quality and tainted with pesticides, it will aid in research and they have been able to extract some usable THC oils for further study.
It is still illegal to import marijuana into Thailand, even for research and medicinal purposes.
While Thailand is seemingly playing catch-up to the rest of the world, especially the United States, they are optimistic that Thailand can be a leader in growing high-quality marijuana in the Asian region and eventually a hub for medical marijuana tourism.
Thailand was the first country in the region to legalize medical marijuana and, so far, is out in front of its neighbors which bodes well for their ambitions.