In June 2022, Thailand decriminalised cannabis. Thai authorities believe that the removal of cannabis from Thailand’s banned narcotics list will mean a boost for local agriculture. It’s also thought that the relaxation in laws could provide a boost for tourism. However, there are some caveats that visitors to Thailand should be aware of before buying or using cannabis.
What does the law say?
The production and consumption of cannabis is permitted for medical and health purposes. It’s also permitted for private recreational use if the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content is below 0.2% by weight. Using cannabis for medical purposes was approved in 2018, but under the new laws it is still illegal to sell or supply any extracts containing more than 0.2% of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the main compound in marijuana which gives the ‘high’.
Households can cultivate a small amount of cannabis (initially up to six potted plants) at home if they register with authorities. Companies can also farm the plant with a permit.
Although there are still some ambiguities in the wording of the new laws, Thai authorities have stressed that smoking cannabis or hemp in public isn’t permitted. Anyone smoking cannabis in public could be liable for a fine of up to 25,000 Baht or a three month jail sentence if they cause a public nuisance or pose health hazards to others.
The US Embassy in Thailand has posted this advisory on their website. And the UK government has this advice (current as of July 2022) on their site:
As of 9 June 2022, private recreational use of cannabis is legal if THC content is below 0.2% by weight, but cannabis use in public places remains illegal. Cultivation, consumption, distribution and sales of cannabis products is legal, although some restrictions remain in place – you should check with the relevant local authorities if you are unsure. More information on usage and registration can be found on PR Thai Government.Gov.uk website
Food and drink
Cannabis can be used in food and drink, but products must contain less than 0.2% of THC. Across Thailand, there are now restaurants and cafes selling cannabis-infused food and drinks.
Thailand has a tradition of using kratom in traditional medicine. The kratom plant is native to South-East Asia and its leaves are used as a natural stimulant and as a painkiller. The use of kratom was previously banned, but was legalised again in 2021.
In 2018, Thailand became the first country in Asia to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis. The most recent legislation in June 2022 means that health providers and clinics can now more easily offer and advertise their cannabis treatment services. A number of cannabis-based medicines are now included in the list of national drugs which means that public hospitals in Thailand can prescribe cannabis remedies to patients under the universal healthcare scheme.
Import and export
Importing or exporting products containing cannabis across the Thai border is not permitted.
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