11 July 2024

People who smoke cannabis or hemp in public are warned that they may face a 3-month jail term and/or a maximum fine of 25,000 baht, if they are convicted of causing a nuisance with the smoke or smell, as a new regulation from the Ministry of Public Health comes into effect today (Wednesday).

Director-general of the Department of Health Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai said that the regulation, which was published in the Royal Gazette on Tuesday, is intended to prevent the recreational use of cannabis or hemp in a way that causes a nuisance or health risk to other people.

He said that the molecules in cannabis or hemp smoke can be inhaled and may cause lung disease, asthma or bronchitis in other people, especially in children, pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers and people suffering from depression or schizophrenia.

He also recommended against the recreational use of cannabis or hemp in pubs and bars or in venues where there are many people.

The Department of Health has also issued an regulation to control the use of cannabis and hemp in food and drinks, as many eateries have turned to including the leaves of the two plants as ingredients.

Cannabis and hemp have been decriminalised in Thailand since June 9th, prompting a boom in the cultivation of cannabis in particular and the use of the plants in food and drinks.

According to the regulation, owners of eateries must clearly identify the dishes which contain cannabis leave and the amount used in each dish. For drinks, the department has recommended just one leaf for one serving.

Eateries are also required to provide safety tips on how to consume food or drinks containing cannabis. A warning must also be included on the menus for people at high-risk and who should avoid consuming cannabis and hemp.

Advertising of the claimed health benefits of cannabis and hemp is not allowed at the eateries.