Ativat Janmuangthai, a skilled cannabis enthusiast and Phuketian, won the title of the “fastest joint-roller” in Phuket, Thailand. Janmuangthai rolled a perfect one-gram joint in just 43 seconds, beating out other roll-your-own ‘experts’. His friend Saksorn Sotornkittirat claimed that Janmuangthai had been rolling joints for five years and was “even able to do it blindfolded”.
The winner, who is in his 30s, received a trophy, a title and a cash prize of 5,000 baht.
The competition was part of the first-ever Phuket Cannabis Cup event. Hosted by the Phuket Cannabis Association at Kata Beach, the aim of the event was to bring enthusiasts and experts together to exchange knowledge and set standards for Thailand’s nascent cannabis industry.
Despite legislative confusion and a doubtful future for ‘legal’ recreational use, the industry has spread like, well, ‘weeds’ across the country with retail shops popping up in all populated areas.
Back to the event, a international panel of judges evaluated various cannabis strains, considering elements such as appearance, THC levels, terpenes, flavour and genetic profiles.
Thailand decriminalised cannabis last year, becoming the first south east Asian country to do so. However, the government also quickly introduced regulations to prevent its unchecked use, including by children. Last month, a cannabis draft bill failed to pass in parliament (for the fifth time), leaving Thailand without a law to regulate the use of cannabis and doubts remaining about unregulated recreational use the next election (in May).
In response, advocates formed the Phuket Cannabis Association to strengthen the industry’s voice. Over 1,000 licensed dispensaries now operate on the island. The group’s president, Poonwarit Wangpatravanich, hopes that regulations to regulate cannabis use will be passed after the upcoming election, set for May 14.
The political parties, currently opposing any further decriminalisation of cannabis and notably against legal recreational use, are leading the polls and are set to lead the next government in Thailand – a blow for cannabis enthusiasts.
Poonwarit believes that a properly considered Cannabis Bill could boost Thailand’s tourism industry significantly, increasing the country’s GDP.
SOURCE: The Star