A Dispensary in the Pattanakarn Area of Bangkok, but they also have a mobile truck which is currently inside the W District every evening from 5pm to 10pm. Good and higher level selection of buds- from 550 to 790bht.
The original and first of three PHC’s (Pretty High Cannabis Dispensaries) is located in Pattanakarn, away from Bangkok’s more glitzy, glamourous and sexy neighborhoods. Two additional PHC outlets have opened in the easier to access Ari and Ekkamai.
The Pattanakarn dispensary was previously a noodle house run by owner Younggu and his family. The shop was quickly converted upon cannabis’s legalization. Pattanakarn is Younggu’s home neighborhood, where his family is from, where he lays his head at night, and where he has put his initial mark on Thailand’s nascent legal cannabis industry. It is the OG dispensary of the PHC network.
The Pattanakarn shop is long and narrow, dominated by a stretched out wooden bar covered in jars of over 30 locally grown THC and CBD strains. At one end of the cannabis bar sits the till and a small bookshelf filled with rolling papers, bongs, pipes and grinders. At the other end, a refrigerator filled with cold sugary drinks stands ready to address the lowered blood sugar levels of tokers. Couches, a couple tables, and chairs are available for customers to hang out while making their cannabis choices.
Behind the dispensary, a separate semi-outdoor smoking area is open to customers. Cannabis appropriate posters adorn the walls. Bongs, available for customers’ use, lie next to an iPad playing tunes over the smoking area’s dedicated sound system.
A steady flow of customers and deliverymen come in and out of the shop. Friends hang out in front and listen to reggae. Dedicated customers chill out back and smoke their recently procured herb of choice, talk to friends new and old, and listen to songs of their choice.
The vibe is local, chill and warm. Younggu, and collaborators such as Yungzu are on the scene, bud tending, talking to customers and friends, welcoming everyone. This is a dispensary with a family business vibe and philosophy to it. PHC is very personal to Younggu, and his personality and warmth are very evident throughout the dispensary.
Younggu, has been a part of Thai cannabis culture long before legalization, both as a recording artist and through his involvement in the local fashion scene. Even prior to finding success as a musician, the culture was introduced to Younggu through hip hop and its celebration of cannabis. Younggu’s eyes were opened at a very young age to Thailand’s pre-legalization cannabis infrastructure, most notably through the permeation of “brick weed” throughout the market. Younggu found himself on the periphery of this infrastructure for most of his young life. Weed was an enhancer which allowed him to be creative for music and fashion. Once legalization came about, Younggu became the first rapper to open a dispensary, taking advantage of his knowledge of cannabis, his connections to the best farmers in Thailand, and his reputation in the hip hop and fashion industry.
Younggu is supported by collaborator, fellow rapper and cannabis aficionado, Yungzu. Yungzu, who also manages the Ekkamai branch of PHC, came about his own cannabis education while growing up in the UK and experienced high quality cannabis there before returning to Thailand. Yungzu’s focus is on health and incorporating cannabis into a healthy lifestyle. Similar to HighThailand friends Dr. Green and Fat Bud, Yungzu is a proponent of CBD and the use of cannabis for particular ailments rather than a focus of being stoned. His outlook is one of community betterment, similar to the Talmudic concept of Tikkun Olam, “healing the world.” Indeed, Yungzu’s cannabis IQ is broad and deep. He is a valuable source of knowledge, and generously doles it out to customers.
The Good Weed
As Younggu explains, “People come to PHC because we got the good weed!”
The shop employs five independent teams which monitor cannabis grown throughout Thailand specifically for PHC. The quality of the bud corresponds and reflects Younggu’s face and reputation: “I’m in hip hop, I’m in fashion, people know me. These strains are my reputation. What happens if people come in and they get shit weed from me? What happens if I sell shit weed within the music and fashion industry or to the public. Everyone will say ‘Younggu is shit.’ And that’s it, that’s my reputation and that’s my business: finished.”
“I am the first rapper to open a cannabis shop. I have to have the best weed, I have to have the best product. How can I go out and rap about weed and then sell shit? I can’t and it won’t happen.”
Your dedicated correspondent sampled Jet Fuel (strain review to follow), Oreoz and G13, and can confirm the high quality of these strains.
PHC has a focus on connections through harmony, creativity and collaboration; what Younggu calls “Weed Society”.
“Weed is a great creator for art, music, fashion and business. It is such a positive element. It brings people together. It makes them compromise. It treats bad moods. People from throughout the world can connect through weed.”
“What happens when you go out to the club, you get a private table and someone is at the table next to you? You’ll look at them, you’ll get aggressive. You may confront them. You may try to fight them, over nothing, over a bump, maybe they look at you the wrong way. Doesn’t take much to start a fight when you’re drinking alcohol.”
“What happens when you come to my shop, or another dispensary and you smoke weed and someone looks at you or bumps into you? You’ll invite them to sit down with you. You’ll say, ‘Hi bro, come join me and smoke some of this stuff with me.’ They’ll become your friend. You’ll be connected.”
“Weed society is just nice, its what you need. There is too much drama everywhere else. But when you are with weed people, with people who smoke, everything is in harmony. People who would never look at each other in the street will end up fighting in the club. In my shop you might come in alone, but you’ll leave with new friends.”
Supporting Thai Cannabis
To Younggu, the origin of cannabis sold at PHC is paramount and a key part reputation: “We monitor and we work with the farms that grow our weed. We want to make sure that they are growing the best possible weed for our customers. And we also want to make sure that the best weed is coming from Thailand.”
“Why are we here? Why was weed legalized? To support Thailand and to support the Thai farmers and cannabis industry. I don’t want to import. I don’t want to support foreign weed. I want high quality Thai cannabis sold here. I want Thai people to benefit.”
“We know the quality, we know the origin, we know the safety of the weed which is grown for us here in Thailand. We don’t know anything about the weed which is imported. Why are they exporting it to Thailand? Why is it so cheap? How is it grown? Where is it grown? Why can’t it be sold in California? We know these answers for the weed sold in our shop, the weed grown in Thailand. We know nothing about what is imported.”
“The weed we sell is better than anything imported. Our quality is top! We should be exporting not importing. We should be bringing Thainess to other countries!”
Yungzu further explains, “This is part of our history. This is part of our culture. We have been growing and using weed for thousands of years. We all need to know this. We have had over twenty Thai landraces destroyed or disappeared during the war on drugs. We need to catch up, we need to reclaim what is ours. We need to learn more and develop our own back yard. We won’t catch up by importing weed.”
Cannabis for health
For Yungzu, Cannabis is an element of health and a healthy lifestyle. “I love CBD and I love to mix it with my weed. We, the cannabis industry, have engineered all the CBD out of the strains which we now smoke. But this is not the way that nature intended. The original strains have CBD in them. They are not hard drugs. They are balanced. They can be and should be used for health. We legalized weed for health purposes, we need to include all the healthy elements like CBD.”
“I see people spending millions on chemical treatments for illnesses and it breaks my heart. Maybe it prolongs their lives for a short time, but it is a short term solution. It is a way for hospitals and pharmaceuticals to make millions off sick people. We need to look into ways to treat the patient and their whole surrounding. This means putting them in a better place through perspective, understanding themselves, letting them recover through love and boosting their immunity. Cannabis, with CBD, meditation, learning about yourself, finding ways to minimize stress in your life, these are ways to help and heal. Addressing the lifestyle, reducing stress, this is something that cannabis can be part of and needs to be focused on so much more.”
“Cannabis does something where it just turns me into the nicest person. This is a good thing. We should all want to be nice to each other. Cannabis elevates. It has none of the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco or even coffee, but it has a worse image. People may think of it as a ‘gateway drug’, but it’s not a drug, and it’s just a stopping point on the journey for people who are already on the path to heavy drugs, it is not the introduction to heavy drugs. If anything it is an alternative.”
Both gentlemen, have strong feelings about the development of Thai Cannabis Culture in a post legalization world.
For Yungzu, cannabis culture is about education and building people: “The great thing about legalization is that we don’t have to operate within the stereotype, within the stigma anymore. It is legitimate and I can be a powerful human being sitting on this earth helping people with cannabis.”
“Thai people need to stop looking to the West for cannabis culture and understand that we have thousands of years of cannabis history and culture right here in our own country. The bong was developed here, and we have so many landraces which were native to Thailand.”
“We need to be educated, to learn and appreciate what we have and what we had. Over 20 different Thai landraces were destroyed with little trace. We need to get them back and develop them, salvage what can be salvaged by humans, because we can’t wait thousands of years for nature to develop them again.”
“Cannabis has given me direction and it can give so many people here that direction. People need to understand that they need to be sensible with it. Use it for health, use it to be good and happy.”
For Younggu, Cannabis Culture is about building the economy, and building a sustainable cannabis business culture, and helping society: “Cannabis is great for Thailand and we are only seeing the beginning. We are still not close to achieving the full potential. It will bring more money, more jobs, more tourists. It will help the food industry and lead no completely new sub-industries and tours. It will help people be healthier and move past addictions to hard drugs, alcohol, tobacco and other bad habits.”
“We, the Thai cannabis industry, need to treat this as a responsible business. We have to take care of our customers, we have to makes sure that our quality is safe and high. We need to make sure that new users come to cannabis responsibly, trying the right strains in low doses, staying away from edibles.”
“We need good policies and support to help us with these goals. We are trying to teach our customers and the people around us, but at the same time we are also learning, and we also need support.”
Conclusion and Personal Notes
The Thai cannabis space is a diverse place filled with incredibly passionate people. Each dispensary reflects the personalities of their owners, their goals, their loves and their visions. While there is a diversity amongst the owners, there is a uniform love for fun and positivity amongst all who I have met.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to the gents of PHC by Fat Bud of Fat Bud’s Weedshop (previously reviewed by HighThailand). Fat Bud was also kind enough to join for the interview and add his own perspective. Fat Bud’s Weedshop has a completely different personality to that of PHC, but they both have love, they both have passion, they both are about people and connections.
Throughout our interview, we all smoked, we all laughed, we listened to both Younggu and Yungzu’s music and we danced. Just four guys, happy on a random afternoon, listening to each other’s stories, connecting and forming bonds through cannabis.
PHC perfectly captures the personalities of the two artists, it is laid back, welcoming, high quality, humble and accessible. We at HighThailand highly recommend PHC: the dispensaries, the philosophy, that “good weed”, and most of all those good people. Welcome, dear readers, to “Weed Society”.