Interview: Importing Dutch technology to grow medical cannabis in Thailand
Makorn Chaovanich owns many businesses. One of them is Canabizta, a company that brings medical cannabis to the market in Thailand. “Right now there are two trending businesses in the world: crypto and cannabis. I chose to invest in the last one, as I feel I can actually help people with chronic pain and therefore do something good for society.”
Just before all the covid lockdowns, Makorn was in the Netherlands for other business when he decided to stay to start his new company. “Business is all about networking”, he says. “Normally networking comes easy to me, but being in a country I didn’t know, while in lockdown, made it a lot harder. It took me two years to find the right partners.”
The Dutch are the best
Even though the start was difficult he never thought about quitting. “It was good to be in the Netherlands. Everybody knows the Dutch have the best knowledge about growing cannabis. The hard part is that cannabis is a taboo. No one dares to speak about it. Together with the lockdown, this was another reason why it took me years to find the right partner.”
Inviting the Thai minister
Eventually he got in contact with Nico de Groot, the advisor of a large greenhouse company. “At first, he hesitated to do business in Thailand. He wasn’t sure about the laws. I had to convince him by inviting the Thai minister to the Netherlands. He assured Nico that there’s a legal market for medical cannabis in Thailand. That was the start of our partnership.”
Right now, Makorn imports knowledge and technology from the Netherlands to Thailand. “We import the strain of cannabis, the indoor system, the greenhouse, the expertise and the packaging. Basically, we import the whole supply system to help Thai companies grow medical cannabis indoors.” Makorn keeps following the trends in countries around Thailand. “Cannabis is huge in Asia. Countries like Myanmar, Korea, Malaysia and Japan will soon follow Thai law and make medical cannabis legal. I make sure I already have the right contacts in those countries. So as soon as the law passes, we are ready to go.”
A shortcut for doing business
Makorn likes doing business in the Netherlands. People are very direct and efficient. For business, that mentality is perfect. Nico introduced him to NLinBusiness. “They hosted a medical cannabis convention in Thailand, which was perfect for me. I will definitely make more use of NLinBusiness in the future. It is a shortcut to do business with the rest of the world.”
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