Cannabis seed company owner arrested in thailand

Thai high: Thailand to give away 1 million free marijuana plants

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Thailand’s government will give away 1 million free cannabis plants for home cultivation come June. EPA

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People of Thailand are certain to be in high spirits come next month when the government will give away 1 million free cannabis plants for home cultivation.

Thailand’s public health minister, who has spearheaded the country’s drive to decriminalize weed, announced in a Facebook post Sunday the government will distribute 1 million of the plants when most legal restrictions on production and possession of the drug are lifted in June.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul added that people would be able to grow as many cannabis plants as they like at their homes.

In February, Charnvirakul signed a measure officially dropping cannabis, best known in the form of marijuana, from a list of controlled drugs.

Closely regulated use of cannabis was legalized in 2018, with several restrictions gradually eased since then.

Thailand’s public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul (center) announced the initiative on Sunday. AFP via Getty Images Thailand introduced a measure in February that officially drops cannabis from a list of controlled drugs. EPA

Thai officials hope that a major new cannabis industry will blossom, not only generating hundreds of millions of dollars directly each year, but also attracting foreign tourists, who have only recently begun returning in large numbers after being largely absent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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When the measure goes into effect June 9, possessing and using all parts of cannabis plants, including flowers and seeds, will be allowed. However, extracted content will remain illegal if it contains more than 0.2% of the psychoactive ingredient that produces a “high” — tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

Anutin declared that individuals will no longer need to obtain a permit to grow cannabis at home, as long as it is declared to be for medicinal purposes and does not have THC content above the legal maximum.

Thai officials hope that a major new cannabis industry will blossom — boosting tourism and generating hundreds of millions of dollars for the country. REUTERS

Thai officials have not explained how the conditions can be enforced.

Large-scale growing operations will still need permission from the country’s Food and Drug Administration to make cannabis products, which are seen as being used mainly for medicines and food additives.

The Food and Drug Administration received about 4,700 applications by late April for licenses to import, possess, grow and produce cannabis and hemp, the Bangkok Post newspaper reported.

Activists had been rallying to have recreational marijuana use legalized in Thailand.

Anutin’s Bhumjai Thai Party, a major partner in the coalition government, campaigned in the 2019 general election for the legalization of cannabis production, saying it would benefit farmers.


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Nevil Schoenmakers, ‘King of Cannabis’ and Seed Bank Founder, Dies at 62

Nevil Schoenmakers, the trailblazing breeder and founder of the first cannabis seed bank in the Netherlands, has died. He was 62. Known by his peers as the King of Cannabis, Schoenmakers is reported in a West Australian newspaper announcement to have died on March 30, 2019, in Osbourne Park, Western Australia.

According to cannabis activist and author Todd McCormick’s Instagram post , Schoenmakers had been in a long battle with hepatitis C.

Born to Dutch parents on Feb. 2, 1957, in Perth, Western Australia , Nevil Schoenmakers moved to the Netherlands in 1976 and began growing cannabis for himself in 1978. A year later, Schoenmakers began growing indoors after finding that commercially available Thai, Colombian, and African strains fared poorly in a northern European climate.

Still unsatisfied with the results of his indoor grows, Schoenmakers decided to start a seed bank so he could obtain more viable genetics from all over the world.

Schoenmakers established The Seed Bank in the Netherlands in 1983. In the immediate years that followed, he would make collection trips to the U.S. that would lead to the commercialization and proliferation of many notable strains. By 1986 , The Seed Bank was selling $500,000 worth of seeds to about 15,000 growers in the U.S .

“If you got seeds in the ’80s, they were most likely through The Seed Bank,” McCormick wrote in the Instagram post paying tribute to Schoenmakers. “The varieties that passed through his hands have become legendary.”

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These influential strains to come out of Nevil’s Seed Bank include Northern Lights , Silver Haze , a Haze x Northern Lights F1 hybrid, and three popular G13 hybrids.

Schoenmakers was arrested on July 24, 1990, upon request of the U.S. government while visiting his family in Perth. The target of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) operation called Green Merchant , Schoenmakers was indicted in New Orleans for selling marijuana seeds to undercover agents and indoor growers. He spent nearly a year in prison in Western Australia before he was granted bail on June 21, 1991, and returned to the Netherlands. Under Dutch law, Schoenmakers’ operation was legal and the Netherlands refused to extradite him. The charges against him were eventually dropped.

In recent years, Schoenmakers kept a relatively low profile, participating in cannabis activism in Australia . High Times Senior Cultivation Editor Danny Danko told Weedmaps News that in the darkest days of the 1980s “Just Say No” and war on drugs” eras, Schoenmakers’ shipment of viable cannabis seeds around the globe was an overtly political act and an attempt to quite literally “overgrow the government.”

“[Schoenmakers’] ads for the Seed Bank in the back of High Times magazine launched countless grow operations around the world,” Danko said. “Many of the strains we consume today are hybrids of that original genetic material that he and a few others bravely shared with the world at great risk to their own freedoms.

“His legacy lives on the gardens of thousands of legal and clandestine cultivators and his impact on cannabis history will remain forever.”