BANGKOK: Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin is on a four-day working visit to Thailand to assess the potential use of cannabis and ketum for medical purposes and the legal framework for its medical use.
The Health Ministry said the working visit, which started on Monday (Aug 22), was at the invitation of Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul.
Khairy is scheduled to pay a visit to the Government Pharmaceutical Office (GPO) on Monday where he will be briefed about the medical cannabis policy in Thailand, including the practices, cultivation methods and research and the use of cannabis and ketum for health purposes.
Thailand is the first country in Southeast Asia to legalise cannabis and use it for medicinal purposes.
"The bilateral visit represents an ideal platform for the health ministry to understand the advances in international research and findings to support the clinical use of cannabis."
According to the statement, the visit also opens international collaboration opportunities for the private and research entities undertaking clinical studies on cannabis and ketum as they develop medical innovations that will further improve the quality of healthcare in Malaysia.
Khairy is expected to meet the main players of the cannabis and ketum industry in Thailand besides visiting Siam Cannabis Land where he will be able to see indoor and outdoor plantations, greenhouses as well as a drying centre.
The Malaysian delegation will also visit Bumrungrad International Hospital, which is one of the largest private hospitals in Southeast Asia and also the Somdet Chaopraya Institute of Psychiatry which provides modern mental healthcare services.
Last month, Khairy said a framework regarding the registration of certain cannabidiol (CBD) products would be announced.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said Khairy is also scheduled to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) high-level meeting on health and economy here on Thursday (Aug 25) before returning to Kuala Lumpur. – Bernama