11 July 2024

Thailand’s Narcotics Control Board today (Tuesday) endorsed the Ministry of Public Health’s drafted announcement on decriminalising cannabis and hemp, by removing the two plants from Category 5 of the drugs list, which will pave the way for their legal cultivation.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that the remaining drugs in Category 5 will include opium, magic mushrooms (Psilocybe cubensis) and extracts of cannabis which contain more THC than 0.2% by weight.

He explained that a regulation will have to be issued if the extracts of cannabis are to become legitimate and that the extracts must only be used for medical, research, industrial, health or food processing only. This means than recreational use will remain banned.

Members of the public who want to grow cannabis or hemp are advised, by the minister, to wait for the new ministerial announcement to come into force, so that there will be no more confusion about whether cannabis can be grown legally.

He said, however, that those who want to plant cannabis must register with the authorities concerned and, if they want to produce extracts from the plant, they will have to get official permission.

The Bhumjaithai party led by Anutin will propose its drafted bill on the use of cannabis and hemp to parliament tomorrow. The law is expected to come into effect 120 days after an announcement is published in the royal gazette.

Asked whether the ministry can prevent abuse of the relaxation of controls on cannabis, Anutin said that he hopes Thai people will respect the law.

“People should make use of the benefits of cannabis and not its negative side,” said the minister.