This interview was conducted with Shai Ramsahai, who is part of the management team of Royal Queen Seeeds (RQS) and is responsible for the successful opening of a store in Bangkok. You can find it on LinkedIn.
Hello RQS. After becoming one of the major players in Europe for decades, you opened a store in Bangkok following the decriminalization of cannabis in Thailand. How did you manage to open a store so quickly?
At RQS, we closely monitor cannabis news and potential legislative reforms. When we learned of Thailand’s historic decision, we reacted very quickly to become the first European player to set up a very large branded store there.
Fortunately, we have a good friend who has lived in Bangkok for 20 years. He and his wife, who is a lawyer, helped us and are now our official partners in Thailand.
Without them, we couldn’t have opened a store so quickly in Thailand.
I was present at the opening myself, which was an incredible event. We never dared to hope that it would be such a success!
Were you already involved in the medical community there?
No, we have good relations with this environment, but we were not involved in it.
What products do you offer in your store? Do you work with local producers?
At the moment, we sell Royal Queen Seeds seeds, cannabis flowers, and derivative products in our store. Eventually, we will also sell cultivation equipment.
We are currently working with local producers. At the end of the year, we will also be selling grow rooms on the top floor of our store. And a glass walkway will run through our grow room so everyone can see how and what we grow.
What varieties do you sell? Are there many landrace varieties or landrace hybrids?
We sell our full range of cannabis seeds from Royal Queen Seeds. We notice that the varieties from the USA are having some success at the moment. We are also considering bringing Thai varieties to market, but this will take some time.
It seems that the regulatory landscape is still a bit uncertain. Private use is decriminalized at home and the sale of cannabis cannot be sanctioned. Is it correct ?
It’s very difficult to answer. Legislation changes very quickly. If I answer this question today, it is possible that when it is published, the answer will be different.
Thailand has completely legalized cannabis, and is currently preparing the appropriate legislation. We will closely follow the evolution of the situation.
Do you think any regulations will soon be enacted regarding recreational production and distribution?
I think the regulations will be improved in the near future. Since this is all very new and fresh, there will normally be some changes in the early stages of new regulations etc.
Is it possible that sales become prohibited?
Everything is still possible today. Personally, I consider the chances of a ban on cannabis sales to be remote. However, they are now adopting stricter laws on the sale of cannabis.
You can find cannabis on every street corner these days. But that’s expected to change within a year, and you’ll only be able to buy cannabis from licensed coffeeshop-like stores.
We have already seen Malaysian ministers visit a medical cannabis cultivation site in Thailand. Think Thailand will inspire other Asian countries to legalize?
We expect to see more Asian countries follow suit. I don’t want to say too much, but we are in discussions with several players in Asia.