June 9th 2022 was a historic day for stoners all over Thailand, as marijuana became officially decriminalized in the kingdom. That’s right, the entirety of the plant is legal, though extracts containing more than 0.2% and smoking in public is still prohibited. People can now grow, possess and sell cannabis – though the government insists that it should be intended for “medical purposes only” – though intepretations of that seems to vary.
Since the decriminalization, scores of cannabis dispensaries quickly popped up across the country. However, without clear regulations or guidelines, the inudstry experienced several weeks of a legal free-for-all – much to the disdain of critics. Since then, some regulations have been put forth. For example, vendors must now obtain permits to sell marijuana. As of publishing, however, the legal framework around the production, use, and sale of cannabis still remains largely unclear.
One of the key players in the country’s budding cannabis industry is the advocy group, Highland. What started as a Facebook page 10 years ago has now grown to the biggest 420 festival Thailand has ever seen. Meet Arun “Max” Avery, and Rattapon “Guide” Sanrak and Chaiwat “Wat” Banjai, someof the co-founders of the Highland Café, one of the country’s most famous legal dispensaries that now also sells buds — much to the delight of the hundreds of customers lined up outside their doors.
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