Vending machine sells cannabis coffee in Thailand

A businessman has invented a cannabis coffee vending machine after drug laws were relaxed in Thailand. Warut Chanowanna, 33, lost his job due to the pandemic so he had plenty of time brewing his signature coffee in Rayong province. The young entrepreneur wanted something different for his customers, so he thought of mixing drinks with marijuana ‘to provide a unique experience.’ Warut, who unveiled the machine this month, said: ‘I had the idea after being unemployed due to Covid-19 pandemic. I thought a coffee vending machine would be even better if they have more flavours, to provide a unique experience. ‘I thought of adding cannabis-infused drinks in my vending machines. I studied how to develop it with the help of my relative who is a researcher on cannabis and he helped me create the recipe.’ Aside from the coffee, customers can buy the marijuana-infused drinks in cocoa and boba milk tea, which are more popular among younger generations. The vending machines were first made available to the public on March 13 and has attracted a long line of people to taste the drinks. One of the customers said the coffee gave him a relaxing feeling after the first few sips. He said: ‘I am happy while drinking my coffee. I feel relaxed and still awake at the same time. It’s a unique experience.’ Warut was happy with the customers’ response and assured them that the drinks did not have a bad side effect. He said: ‘We researched the drinks before we put them out in the market and obtained a permit for it so everything is legal. I am glad people liked my product.’ The Thai Public Health Ministry approved the use of cannabis and hemp for medical and research purposes in 2019 – the first Southeast Asian country to legalise cannabis for medical use. In January this year, restrictions were eased to allow businesses such as cafes and restaurants to sell food and drinks mixed the weaker parts of marijuana plants such as the leaves, stalks, stems and roots. Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul hopes the industry will generate extra revenue for the country, which has seen its income from tourism decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic.