RMUTI steps up cannabis research
Pilot project with GreenWorks and local bodies in Khon Kaen seeks to improve quality and add value
Rajamangala University of Technology Isan (RMUTI) Khon Kaen Campus is teaming up with partners to research and develop production and processing of cannabis, hemp and other Thai herbs for medical purposes.
The cooperation is outlined in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with GreenWorks Asia and the Na Fay Tambon Administrative Organisation (TAO) in the northeastern province.
The collaboration has seven purposes: to study and improve hemp species to find optimised hemp varietals specifically for Khon Kaen; to study and improve methods of hemp cultivation to increase product quantity and quality; to study and develop new hemp species for Thailand; to study and improve cannabidiol (CBD) as a mixture in Thai herbal products including but not limited to turmeric, lemongrass, black galingale, gotu kola and chrysanthemum; to study and improve herbs for industrial processing and export to the global market; to study and develop food and beverage, nutrition, wellness, skincare, cosmetic products and perfume that contain CBD; and to utilise the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economy model to study and improve hemp and Thai traditional herbs.
Tambon administration organisations in Na Fay and Phu Pha in Khon Kaen will take part in pilot projects under the MoU. The projects are being carried out in response to government legislation that allows private individuals and companies to grow hemp for commercial purposes in line with specified rules. The project is expected to benefit local farmers and increase their overall quality of life.
The MoU was signed by Woratas Thuleechan, deputy governor of Khon Kaen; Ada Raimaturapong, vice-president of RMUTI Khon Kaen Campus; Peter Whitmore, chief executive officer of GreenWorks Asia; and Pakrit Thorngthaengthai, president of Local Enterprise Organic Na Fay and chief of the Na Fay TAO.
“The hemp, medical cannabis, and associated sectors are among the fastest developing countries,” said Mr Whitmore. “However, there is clearly still a severe lack of awareness and education about the science, products, law, public policy and broader benefits surrounding the plant and crop.
“GreenWorks is confident that the Thai government’s extensive work on ensuring the legislation for this new and exciting industry is beneficial to the Thai people will help kickstart the national economy after the global Covid-19 pandemic, bring positive change and improve lives.
“The potential to improve the socio-economic lives of impoverished rural farmers and communities is enormous,” he added. “GreenWorks’ Thai operations in this exciting new sector will create many local jobs and benefits to the broader population and society through further employment in associated business sectors, wellness, healthcare, tax revenues, exports and improving the environment.
“We have been made to feel very welcome by everyone we have met in Khon Kaen. In particular, we would like to acknowledge and thank the TAO of Na Fay and RMUTI for their guidance and support. We are honoured to be working with them and look forward to a long and prosperous future together.”
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