All About Cannabis In Thailand
Cannabis legalization in Thailand has been a hot topic for years. The country is known for its beautiful beaches, delicious food, and friendly people, but the government's recent bid to legalize cannabis in Thailand is the most recent. According to a report by the UTCC, Thailand's legal cannabis market is estimated to hit 28.1 B baht by the end of 2022. The market is also projected to grow to 36.5 B in 2023. Herein, we discuss the legal status of cannabis in Thailand.
Is Cannabis Legal in Thailand
Thailand has a long history with cannabis, as it has stringent drug laws. However, the recent actions have seen relaxation on the same as cultivation and possession of cannabis in Thailand is now legal.
Effective 9 June 2022, hemp and marijuana plants were delisted from Category 5 narcotics by the Thai Food and Drug Administration. Thailand becomes the first Asian nation to decriminalize cannabis — also known as marijuana, or ganja in the local dialect.
According to a Facebook post on Thai’s official page, the new cannabis legal frameworks are created with economic, medical, and overall health and wellness objectives.
Medical Cannabis Laws in Thailand
In Thailand, medical cannabis was first legalized in 2018. However, you would need a medical license to use the drug. The Thai government would allow the possession of medical marijuana by individuals with a doctor’s prescription.
The raw form of medical cannabis is now legal, and you won’t require a license. However, some medical cannabis forms do not exist in a natural state, as they manifest as processed forms or extracts. Using these products should not have more than 0.2% of CBD and THC cannabinoids. To use processed forms of medical cannabis will require you to have a license.
Recreational Use of Cannabis in Thailand
According to the law, you can use recreational cannabis in your private residence only if you do not disturb the surrounding people. You cannot smoke or use weed in public gatherings, such as in schools, shopping malls, churches, or in mass gatherings, because of cannabis’ signature smell.
The government discourages recreational cannabis use by visitors and tourists who intend to visit Thailand to smoke. Amidst the government’s decree, businesses with private smoking hubs continue to receive an increased number of locals.
To use recreational cannabis in Thailand, you must have attained 20 years of age. It might help to note that public smoking is a punishable act, as you may end up spending up to three months in jail or a fine not exceeding 25.000 baht ( Royal Gazette, 2022).
Possession of Cannabis
Possession of cannabis flowers, leaves, and stems is legal, as they are not listed on Thailand’s narcotics list. However, you must be 20 years or older. Legal custody only holds for flowers, leaves, or stems.
Processed products and extracts are highly regulated, as they should not have more than 0.2% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD). Hence, these extracts are still controlled by Thailand’s Narcotics Act and are punishable.
Growing and Selling
The Thai government encourages the growing of cannabis on private property, as it gives away cannabis seeds to citizens —The aim of giving out seeds is to encourage Medical cannabis use. However, growing for recreational use is not punishable either. However, it is not clear the number of plants that one can grow. To grow cannabis, one must follow the official process and register through the Plookganja app: https://plookganja.fda.moph.go.th.
To grow cannabis for commercial use will require you to obtain a cultivation license from FDA. Foreign companies are exempted from this.
There are no special permits required to sell legal cannabis. However, foreigners must adhere to Thailand’s strict labor laws, as they cannot sell cannabis without a valid work permit or visa.
Wrap up On Cannabis In Thailand
There is much work for cannabis to be well regulated in Thailand. Although many support this move, others are unsure about the benefits and risks involved. We hope that by educating ourselves on the topic, we can make informed decisions about our use of cannabis products or whether or not we want them for others.