Thailand’s government will give away 1 million cannabis plants to its citizens for free for “home cultivation,” the Associated Press reported.

Why is Thailand handing out free cannabis plants?

Starting June 9, growing cannabis as a “household crop” will become legal in Thailand as long as it is used for “medicinal purposes,” according to CNN.

Legislature passes bill treating medical marijuana cards ‘like any other prescription’

Citizens can also grow the plant as a “small-scale commercial enterprise.”

The Thai government will distribute cannabis plants to mark this lifting of restrictions on owning and growing cannabis, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced.

The New York Times described the project as the latest move in the country’s “effort to position itself as a leader in Asia’s nascent cannabis industry.”

How has Thailand decriminalized cannabis?

  • In 2018, Thailand legalized marijuana for “medical use and research,” making it the first Southeast Asian country to do so, according to CNN.
  • In February of this year, Thailand dropped cannabis from its list of controlled drugs, AP reported.

However, recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in the Southeast Asian country and could lead to up to 15 years in prison, per The New York Times.