Cann Global Asia (CGA), a subsidiary of Australian firm Cann Global, has signed an agreement with Sun Agriculture Promotion Industry and Commercial (SUN), which will allow CGA to cultivate and process cannabidiol hemp in Laos.
Hemp is a term used to classify varieties of Cannabis that contain 0.3 percent or less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, while Cannabis plants with more than 0.3 percent THC are marijuana.
THC is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.
Under the agreement, SUN grants permission for CGA to use its licenses to cultivate, purchase, process, manufacture, retail, hemp products in Laos. When requested by CGA, SUN will also export hemp products for CGA, according to the company statement.
SUN currently holds two licenses in Laos that allow the company the right to cultivate, purchase, process, retail, and export hemp products in the country. SUN also warrants that it will maintain and operate these licenses for a minimum period of 10 years.
CGA will pay SUN 10 percent of the gross profit of the products that are sold locally, or exported and sold, through their licenses.
Implementation activities are expected to take place in November 2019.
Apart from Laos, CGA is currently seeking and negotiating licenses in Thailand and Cambodia.
In Thailand, in particular, CGA is actively seeking participation in Medical Cannabis operations.
In conjunction with hospitals, universities, and Thai Traditional Medicine practitioners, CGA is seeking to provide extraction and manufacturing services for pharmaceutical grade products for retail in the country.
The company expects to be able to make an announcement regarding the progress in Thailand before the end-2019.
Prohibition Partners, a nongovernmental organization with a mission to open up the international cannabis industry, estimates 85.5 million of Asia’s roughly 4.5 billion population in 2019 are cannabis users, projecting the Asian market will be worth USD 8.5 billion in 2024, with medical use accounting for USD 5.8 billion of that.
This is mainly because allowing medical cannabis is seen as a step toward approving recreational use as seen in Canada’s case, which legalized cannabis in late 2018 after years of allowing medical use.
Laos is currently studying the potential of marijuana for medicinal use as well as its economic, social, and political impact.
Although the cultivation, trade, and use of marijuana are currently prohibited in Laos, many Lao people are believed to use cannabis to relieve pain and fatigue.