THE WHAT? Could the beauty and wellness industry be about to unveil 2021’s answer to CBD? Thailand has seen domestic sales of opioid alternative, kratom boom after the drug was legalized in late August, according to a report published by Bloomberg. The country is now poised to green-light exports to the US, the world’s largest market.
THE DETAILS Thailand deleted kratom from its narcotics list on August 24 and a draft law to allow imports and exports of the coffee-like shrub was passed on September 8. The botanical is said to have mood- and energy-boosting properties.
The local market could be valued at THB600 million by 2022, per Bloomberg, with exports worth considerably more – the US market alone, which is dominated by Indonesian imports, is estimated at US$1 billion a year.
THE WHY? Much like cannabis, decriminalization will lead to growing acceptance of the Chairwat Sowcharoensuk, an Analyst at Krungsri Research, told Bloomberg, “Decriminalization will not only benefit farmers but will create a whole new supply chain from upstream to downstream and will likely attract operators looking to turn it into beverages, health supplements and cosmetics.”