Sappe PCL Chief Executive Officer Ms. Piyajit Ruckariyapong attended the ‘Planting first hemp in 1,600 rai plot in Chiang Rai’ event, which was joined by Thai Hemp Wellness Chief Executive Officer Mr. Sathienpong Kaewsod, the argro-organic agriculture foundation, government and private sectors, and farmers. The participants jointly planted hemp as a pilot project in Dong Mada sub-district, Mae Lao district, Chiang Rai province.
The activity demonstrated the strong will of Sappe and Thai Hemp Wellness to expand innovative products with cannabidiol (CBD) extract when the government allows the use of parts of cannabis and hemp plants in food and cosmetics. It is expected to enliven the food and drink market.
The Sappe CEO said the company has prepared for the hemp trend by signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Thai Hemp Wellness Co., Ltd in the project to promote hemp cultivation early this year. The project was initiated to help generate income for local farmers and ethnic groups in Chiang Rai. It is regarded as a collaboration to promote investment in hemp sprouts, organic fertilizer and high-quality microbe to boost crop yields.
To make the project efficient, a team of agricultural experts was formed to provide advice for the farmers such as planting, nourishing, harvesting and how to comply with the law.
The company also pledged to buy the hemp yields to be extracted to be CBD and hemp seed oil before expanding more products in the future.
Previously, Sappe launched a pilot product with terpene scent called ‘Sappe Beauti Drink Green Relaxing Clam’, bringing terpene scent, which is similar to the smell of cannabis leaf, as ingredient. The drink received positive feedback from consumers. Thus, it is expected to see new innovative products as additional choices for consumers after the law, which allows the use of cannabis and hemp extracts, is in place. Approval of amendments to relevant laws would bring liveliness back to the food and beverage market and respond to the upcoming relaxation of COVID-19 measures.
Thai Hemp Wellness CEO Mr. Sathienpong said the hemp planting event in Chiang Rai was held to inform the local farmers about the direction of the business sector in hemp production. Currently, only hemp with high CBD and Mitragyna speciosa, known in Thai as Kratom, are allowed to be legally planted following the government’s permission. The two plants can be extracted to make drinks but more research and study are required.
Sappe is among the private companies that signed an MOA with Thai Hemp Wellness to use hemp extract in its production and the process of extracting is underway and will be soon ready for delivery.
Chiang Rai is the first area to grow hemp for commercial purpose. The company plans to promote the cultivation in the first phase of the 1,600 rai plot, and will expand to 100,000 rai within five years. The farmers generally cultivate hemp crops twice a year and take around four months to harvest and distribute to Thai Hemp Wellness for extracting process. The CBD extract will then be delivered to the private sector.
Therefore, hemp is considered as an economic plant, which generates income and creates sustainability for the farmers, communities and Thai business firms, according to the Thai Hemp Wellness CEO.