Marijuana Legalization Status in Thailand

December 10, 2023by nsuwan

The Thai Health Ministry has completed the first draft of the new Cannabis-Hemp Act, which aims to tighten regulations around the use of cannabis in Thailand. This draft legislation is an update and amendment to the initial version, and it comprises around 70 sections, modified from the original draft of 94 sections​​.

The draft hasn’t been released for public comment yet, but as soon as it is we will provide a translated version of the draft amendment here. Expected before the end of the year (2023).

Key aspects of the new draft legislation include:

Controlled Herb Status: The new law will continue to recognize cannabis as a controlled herb. This implies that while certain uses of cannabis will be permitted, they will be under strict regulation.

THC Content Regulation: Any extract with more than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will remain classified as a narcotic. This threshold is significant in distinguishing between what is considered permissible for use and what remains under strict narcotic control.

Restriction on Recreational Use: The primary goal of the new legislation is to discourage recreational use of cannabis while supporting its use for medicinal purposes. This indicates a focus on harnessing the medicinal benefits of cannabis while curbing its recreational abuse.

Cultivation and Sale Regulations: Under the initial law, households were permitted to grow up to 15 cannabis plants for personal medicinal use by merely informing local authorities. However, the new draft requires individuals to obtain permission beforehand. Existing cannabis shops with licenses can continue operating but must adhere to the new regulations. These include prohibiting on-site cannabis smoking and the sale of dried cannabis buds​​​​.

Venues for Sale or Use: The law will specify venues where the sale or use of cannabis is not permitted. Although the new legislation does not aim to shut down all cannabis shops, it imposes strict compliance requirements.

Ambiguity in Home Use: The legality of smoking cannabis at home remains a grey area and has not yet been finalized by the committee, subject to further public feedback. This indicates an ongoing dialogue and consideration of public opinion in finalizing the legal stance on this matter.

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