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Tuk Tuk in Bangkok Thailand Ohai

As my tuk tuk weaved through the busy streets of Bangkok, the buzz and vibrancy of the city marked the beginning of an unforgettable journey. This was my first foray into Thailand, a country renowned for its rich cultural tapestry and, more recently, its progressive stance on cannabis. From the bustling markets to the tranquil temples, Thailand presented a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity.

The Full Moon Sesh: A Melting Pot of Ideas and Cultures

Ohai crystal pipe at Shanti Dispensary in Bangkok Thailand for Full Moon Sesh

Central to my journey was the Full Moon Sesh, an event that epitomized the global cannabis community's diversity and unity. It wasn't just a global sesh but a vibrant forum for cannabis entrepreneurs and enthusiasts from around the world to compete, connect and share. The event's partnership with local dispensaries brought numerous American brand owners to Asia for the first time, highlighting the global cannabis movement's reach and the shared vision that bridges continents.

Bridging the Gender Gap: Women in Cannabis

Woman's hand with mermaid shell acrylic nail art holding a big joint in Phuket, Thailand in front of a beach view.

Amidst the backdrop of innovation and exchange, the prominent role of women within the cannabis space in Thailand was particularly striking. At events, in dispensaries, and among growers, women's presence was not just notable—it was influential. Female entrepreneurs, growers, brand owners, and content creators were at the forefront, challenging stereotypes and driving the industry forward. Their involvement was a testament to the narrowing gender gap in the cannabis industry, showcasing an inclusive future where diversity is not just welcomed but celebrated.

During my trip, several female Instagram profiles consistently popped up in my feed, each sharing their unique perspectives and contributions to the cannabis community. Their creativity, insight, and advocacy are truly inspiring. Here are some of the content creators who stood out:

A Shift in Paradigm: The Tightrope of Cannabis Legislation

Warning sign reads "no drugs" with cannabis, cigarette and pill icons.

Thailand's cannabis narrative is complex and evolving. Despite the initial liberalization with the decriminalization of cannabis in 2022, the Thai government's recent move to propose a bill banning recreational use marks a significant shift. This change aims to balance the medicinal benefits of cannabis with concerns over public health and societal impact, reflecting the delicate interplay between progress and regulation.

Cannabis Culture on Display: A Complex Juxtaposition

Banner in Patong, Phuket that reads Green Light District

The liberal stance on cannabis, juxtaposed with Thailand's traditional values and the predominance of the Red Light District, paints a picture of a nation at a crossroads. Navigating this landscape required a conscious effort to remain respectful and law-abiding, especially amidst the vibrant yet complex tapestry of Thailand's cannabis culture. This duality emphasized the ongoing dialogue about where the country stands—and where it might stand—regarding cannabis, amid its rich cultural and spiritual heritage.

Looking Ahead

Ohai founder Emily smoking and her reflection on a sliding door

As Thailand navigates its evolving stance on cannabis, it serves as a microcosm of the global dialogue on cannabis legalization and regulation. This journey has not only illuminated the potential for progress within the cannabis industry but also the complexities of balancing cultural values with emerging global trends. I am profoundly grateful for this experience, especially at such a pivotal moment in history. The opportunity to witness firsthand the shifts in perception, legislation, and cultural acceptance has been invaluable.

I am thankful for all the new friends and peers I've met in this global community. The connections forged have enriched my understanding and appreciation of the diverse perspectives that shape our world. These relationships, built on shared interests and mutual respect, underscore the power of community in driving forward positive change and innovation.

As I continue to explore cannabis culture and legislation around the world, follow my journey @emileu for more insights and discoveries. Join me as I delve into the diverse narratives that shape the global cannabis landscape, one country (and puff) at a time.

Image Credits: All images are courtesy of Emily Leung for Ohai. Captured during my recent journey across Thailand, these photographs aim to convey the rich experiences and insights gained throughout my travels.

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