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Business trends

Thailand companies make marijuana investments after legal shift

Decriminalization prompts conglomerates and small businesses to grow thousands of plants

By becoming the first Southeast Asian nation to decriminalize marijuana for medical and recreational use, Thailand has caught the eye of the business community, which smells opportunity.   © Getty Images

BANGKOK -- Thailand's marijuana and hemp business is drawing interest from companies large and small in the country, attracting more than 1.2 billion baht ($35 million) of investment as they aim to cash in on the decriminalization of cultivation and use of the plants.

Marijuana and hemp will be removed from the category 5 narcotics list, starting Thursday, according to the Thai Food and Drug Administration. To operate a legal marijuana-related business in the country, growers can simply register through the Pluk Kan mobile app.

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