Salus Bioceutical is opening a C$22,900,000 cannabis/hemp production plant in Doi Saket district of Chiang Mai province in Thailand. The Facility will initially produce CBD products to cater to growing international and local demand, whereby THC products and medicine will be developed subject to government approval under applicable laws.
The facility is expected to have an annual capacity for the extraction of over 200,000 kilograms of biomass, and production of over 50,000 liters of CBD oil and 90,000 kilograms of isolate powder and water-soluble CBD isolate, making SBT one of the largest cannabis/hemp manufacturing plants in Thailand and one of the most sophisticated production sites outside of North America. The 800 m2 plant covers indoor cultivation and in an additional building, a high capacity extraction and distillation capability developed by Ontario-based extractX employing some of the most technologically advanced equipment available in the cannabis industry as well as a medical grade laboratory for hemp and cannabis analysis, which will allow for a unique distillation process, ultimately producing high-yield and quality CBD products. With expertise from MPXI, an emergent global participant in the cannabis industry operating across five continents, SBT will implement best-in-class manufacturing practices into their Thai GMP and EU-GMP compliant medical production facilities. SBT has recently been granted a Hemp Extraction License, which allows SBT to operate and extract hemp flower legally under the laws of Thailand, making it one of the first companies in Thailand with complete licensing for CBD manufacturing.
W. Scott Boyes, Chairman, President and CEO of MPXI and SIM, said: “The emerging market for medical-grade CBD and THC products in Thailand is quickly maturing and the progressive approach of Thailand’s government will potentially make this country the epicenter of medical cannabis cultivation and production for all of Southeast Asia. MPXI is pleased to be playing an integral part in the planning, development, and management of SBT’s Chiang Mai Facility. As a shareholder and participant in the venture, MPXI expects the project to yield near-term revenues and profits that will be materially accretive to the financial performance of MPXI and SIM as well as provide significant upside to the shareholders of MPXI and SIM.”
The Thai market
Amid the global cannabis wave, Thailand, with a population of over 70 million, is a promising national jurisdiction for the industry following its legalization for the medical use of cannabis in 2019. There are an estimated 1,300,000 Thai patients that can undergo cannabis treatment (Julian Nabil Sarwat, Rosalie Schweninger and Igor Senjak, “CC Insights | Thailand Medical Cannabis” (2020) Cannabis Catalysts, CC Insight & Network GmbH, page 26 “Thailand Medical Cannabis”), and with Thailand currently being the third-most visited country by medical tourists in the world (Thailand Medical Cannabis, page 20), the integration of cannabis into the medical tourism industry alone is forecast to bring in US$60 million in 2024 with the total market size at that time estimated at between US$190 million to US$382 million (Thailand Medical Cannabis, page 24). Medical professionals are also encouraging medical cannabis to be considered a cultural heritage aspect of Thailand.
Tanadee Pantumkomon, COO and Director of SIM CEO and Director of SBT said: “We are excited to be taking our first big step in Thailand. The opening of our local CBD manufacturing plant will enable us to better respond to the growing demand for a wide variety of CBD products both in Thailand and worldwide. The facility will create a value chain upstream to downstream as well as providing benefits for all stakeholders – including job opportunities and additional income for local communities.”
As Thailand continues to venture into the market for medical cannabis, various opportunities will open up for future business. As the first North American medical cannabis company to enter the Thai market, SBT will initially be producing EU-GMP compliant medical-grade cannabis products such as CBD distillate, isolate powder, and water-soluble CBD isolate for domestic sales. The company will focus on producing high quality products for the domestic market and aims to dominate the ASEAN community by expanding sales throughout the entire Southeast Asia region.With Thailand declaring itself as an export country, the export potential can be estimated at US$618 million for 2024 (Thailand Medical Cannabis, page 24).
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