When the Thailand National Legislative Assembly voted to legalize medicinal cannabis use in December of 2018, foreign pharmaceutical firms were quick to file patents.
GW Pharmaceuticals and their Japanese partner Otsuka Pharmaceutical filed several cannabis extract patents which were initially expedited and given patent-pending status by the Thai Department of Intellectual Property (DIP).
The move was met with opposition from groups who said that the filings violated Thailand’s Section 9 intellectual property law and would open the door to a monopoly on the advancement of medicinal cannabis in the country.
But in response to an order issued under Section 44 by the National Council for Peace and Order, the DIP has rejected all requests from foreign companies wanting to patent natural cannabis extract.
Companies will have two months to appeal the decision before it becomes final and binding.
According to the Bangkok Post, the DOP has denied ten patent requests from pharmaceutical companies so far.
In a post to their Facebook page, civic group Biodiversity Sustainable Agriculture Food Sovereignty Action Thailand (Biothai) wrote that Thailand needs to take medical cannabis seriously and accelerate research for the sake of the public and not allow monopolies to happen.
Biothai said that it would be watching the companies attempting to appeal as well as monitoring the DIP’s response to them.