Asoke Mexican joint now slings marijuana alongside tacos

Budtender Mali Brandt and Colin Stevens pose inside their dispensary Sensii in Bangkok’s Asoke area. Photo: Chayanit Itthipongmaetee / Coconuts Bangkok
Budtender Mali Brandt and Colin Stevens pose inside their dispensary Sensii in Bangkok’s Asoke area. Photo: Chayanit Itthipongmaetee / Coconuts Bangkok

On June 9, the day cannabis was decriminalized, Colin Stevens and Prajya “Phil” Aura-ek felt the same disbelief as many others.

Learning that a few dispensaries had already opened in Bangkok to sell buds legally, the chef and his partners, like many others, kicked things into gear to rush open one of their own. 

“I was super excited I could not even sleep properly,” Phil said. “I really thought it would take at least two more years for Thailand to come into this step of decriminalization.”

Sensii co-owner Prajya “Phil” Aura-ek poses with a jar of Orange Kush.

“I went to Highland Cafe to see with my own eyes that they sold buds,” he added. “I waited a few more days and saw more and more dispensaries opened.”

Three days after weed became legal, Phil said he called Stevens and told him “Let’s do this.”

Unlike some others jumping into the fray, they had ample access.

Despite working in the kitchens of restaurants such as Ash Kickers and Tortilla Quemada, Stevens also had a vertical cannabis farm that for years has produced strains for the Government Pharmaceutical Organization. In short, Stevens had long been ready to take the retail plunge – it just hadn’t been legal to do so.

Within a week, the duo opened Sensii just next door to Stevens’s two-year-old Mexican eatery Tortilla Quemada. Stevens said the name is a play on sensimilla, the Spanish word for the seedless, female buds which contain high levels of THC.

On a recent visit, Sensii offered up to 12 strains ranging from Orange Kush (THB550/gram) to hybrid Truffle Monkey (THB990/gram) with a THC level as high as 26%.

The most popular bud, however, is the fast-acting, energetic sativa Jack Herer (THB800/gram), which is liked for its pine-scent earthiness and pungent spiciness. The buds on sale will rotate periodically.

A jar of Strawberry Banana buds at Sensii. Photo: Chayanit Itthipongmaetee / Coconuts Bangkok

Stevens notes that his product range “follows the market prices,” which, while currently high, is normal with legalization under a month old.

“When [the market price] comes down, I’ll lower the prices down, too,” he said. 

The dispensary follows the few existing regulations: It does not sell to those under 20, or pregnant or breastfeeding women. The store also prohibits customers from smoking on site and warns them not to smoke in public at risk of being charged with causing a public nuisance

A customer on June 22, 2022, buys cannabis at Sensii. Photo: Chayanit Itthipongmaetee / Coconuts Bangkok

Asked whether he will add weed to his tacos and quesadillas, Stevens said that’s a definite “no.” He noted that putting THC into food or drinks is off limits, unless it is under the statutory limit of 0.2% content, an amount which is negligible.

A sign at Sensii in Thai and English also urges people to “use responsibly” and “do not consume and drive or operate machinery.”

Phil said that while Thailand waits for the Cannabis Act to be passed and enacted, it’s the dispensary’s duty to educate people on the dangers of cannabis abuse and overdose. He hopes in the future there will be a “quota” imposed to limit the amount of weed customers can buy. 

Sensii is currently open noon to 9pm daily. It’s located on Soi Sukhumvit 21/1 and can be reached from BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit.

Glass jars of cannabis at Sensii. Photo: Chayanit Itthipongmaetee / Coconuts Bangkok
A recent visit to Sensii. Photo: Chayanit Itthipongmaetee / Coconuts Bangkok

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