CBD foods get early look from Thai firms anticipating cannabis changes

The largest private company in Thailand has its eyes on CBD foods as the nation decriminalizes marijuana and hemp.

A division of agribusiness giant Charoen Pokphand Group, known as CP, formed a joint venture in May with renewable energy developer Gunkul Engineering to produce CBD-infused food and beverage products.

The agreement came only days before Thailand became the first nation in Asia to decriminalize cannabis possession.

The company’s CEO, Prasit Boondoungprasert, told Nikkei Asia, a Tokyo-based business news agency, that the company plans to begin its cannabis operations with hemp-derived CBD.

Hemp, he said, is “a new economic crop that can be turned to value-added food and beverages in light of growing demand, both domestically and internationally.”

Boondoungprasert also said that the collaboration would involve marijuana production, though he did not elaborate.

Global cannabis operators are watching Thailand closely to see if business opportunities develop there.

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Thailand’s public health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, on Friday was to begin distributing 1 million marijuana seedlings for home cultivation, according to the Associated Press.

The country’s Food and Drug Administration has received more than 4,700 applications for licenses to import, possess, grow and produce marijuana and hemp, the Bangkok Post reported.