Thailand’s military government has suspended the licensing of commercial marijuana-based products for medical use amid concern that foreign pharmaceutical companies might try to monopolize the market.
Monday’s decree orders the director of the Department of Intellectual Property to invalidate all patent applications for medical marijuana products, declaring that for the time being commercial products from marijuana or having the same molecular structure as the plant are not supported under intellectual property laws.
The decree says it will remain in effect until legislation on medical marijuana comes into force. Parliament last month legalized the regulated use of medical marijuana but the legislation must be signed by King Maha Vajiralongkorn to become law.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s order was issued under special powers the military government gave him to implement laws.