11 July 2024

Public Health minister Anutin Charnvirakul signed a ministerial announcement today (Tuesday) officially removing cannabis and hemp from Category 5 of the country’s list of narcotics, effective 120 days after its publication in the Royal Gazette. Recreational use will, however, remain banned as extracts of cannabis which contain more THC than 0.2% by weight will remain in the list.

Public Health minister Anutin Charnvirakul signed a ministerial announcement today (Tuesday) officially removing cannabis and hemp from Category 5 of the country’s list of narcotics, effective 120 days after its publication in the Royal Gazette.

He told the media that this marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of cannabis in Thailand, which is regarded as an important turning point, which must be understood by all parties concerned “so we can move forward together correctly”.

He stressed that cannabis is very useful and can be used for medical treatment, so Thai people will be able to grow cannabis legally for medical purposes or for commercialisation like other herbs, but it must be kept under appropriate control “because we have been told all along that cannabis is a narcotic.”

The minister noted that all the regulations to be issued regarding the use of extracts from cannabis and hemp will ensure that they are used for medical, research or industrial purposes or for the production of goods allowed by law and Thailand’s obligations to international organisations.

Anutin explained that growing cannabis is not prohibited under the present circumstances, but it must be done by at least seven people grouping together in the form of community enterprise and permission must be granted by the relevant authority.

120 days after the announcement is published in the Royal Gazette, people can cultivate cannabis without limits, but the growers must register with authorities first and not use the plants or extracts for illegal purposes.

“We will try to be as relaxed as possible, so people can have access to cannabis,” said the minister.

As for the next step, he said that a bill on cannabis and hemp will be submitted to parliament.