Tuesday, Thailand’s narcotics board announced it will remove cannabis from its drug list, allowing individuals to cultivate it in their own homes. So Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to decriminalize cannabis.

After contacting their local government, individuals can now cultivate their own cannabis plants at home, but the plant cannot be utilized for commercial reasons without further permits, according to Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

Published in the official Royal Gazette for 120 days before household cannabis plants are allowed. While this is going on, a second draft law from the health ministry will be presented to parliament this week, outlining the legal use of cannabis, including criteria for recreational use, manufacturing, and commerce.

Asia's First Country to Decriminalize Cannabis

The minister of health must now sign off on the Food and Drug Administration’s delisting before it takes effect, which is 120 days after it is published in the official gazette. Cannabis, a plant species that includes marijuana and hemp, was removed from Thailand’s Narcotics Law last month, making it no longer a prohibited substance.

When asked if marijuana possession would no longer be punishable by arrest, police and attorneys claimed they couldn’t say for sure. Since there are so many intertwined statutes, it’s difficult to say whether or not it’s legal to consume marijuana for recreational purposes just now.

THC, the psychoactive element that gives consumers a euphoric high, remains on the Health Ministry’s list of banned narcotics, despite the government’s decision to remove it from the list.

First in Asia, Thailand will legalize the cultivation and use of marijuana for therapeutic reasons in 2020. In 2020, the “Category 5” list of restricted narcotics was revised to remove most elements of the cannabis plant, although seeds and buds, which are commonly linked with recreational use, were preserved. The FDA is currently implementing a recommendation that eliminates all elements of the plant off the list of substances that might cause cancer.

Decriminalizing marijuana was made possible in large part thanks to Health Minister Anutin. Leader of Thailand’s Bhumjai Thai Party, a key member of the coalition ruling government, and an outspoken advocate of legalizing marijuana cultivation to benefit local farmers, he ran for office in 2019 on this platform. Thai officials believe that the latest law would assist to develop the country’s cannabis business. Food and drug regulator director Paisal Dankhum has previously stated that homegrown cannabis should be used for medical purposes like traditional medicine and that there will be random inspections.

The law proposes a punishment of up to 20,000 baht ($605.33) for those who produce cannabis without alerting the government, as well as a fine of up to 300,000 baht or three years in prison for those who sell it without a license. Thai officials have taken the latest stage in their ambition to cultivate marijuana as a commercial crop.

According to the World Bank, the country’s agricultural sector employs around a third of its workforce. After hemp and CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical was legalized for use in consumer goods in Thailand last year, beverage and cosmetic businesses hurried to create new products.

Best Cannabis-Based Products

Businesses in Thailand That Offers Cannabis-Based Products

Despite the fact that Thailand has only just begun the process of decriminalizing marijuana, there is already a restaurant in Bangkok where dishes are prepared using the drug. In any case, BA LAO RUENG does not appear to be a haven for criminals of any sort.

Located two hours from Bangkok, the restaurant is geared toward families and the elderly. ‘ Doilies adorn the cookie bags offered at the counter, which are framed by wispy curtains. Classics like “yum yum soup and khanom pang na moo” or “crispy pork toast” are available on the menu. An investigation near enough shows the presence of a prohibited ingredient which is cannabis.

What’s the Future of Cannabis in Thailand?

After being the first country in Southeast Asia to allow medicinal marijuana and its usage in food and cosmetics, Thailand now seeks to decriminalize marijuana, taking the drug one step closer to being legal for recreational use.

According to FDA deputy secretary-general Withid Sariddeechaikool, the measure might enable individuals unrestricted access to marijuana without fear of lengthy prison sentences and severe penalties. A person in Thailand who is caught with a little amount of marijuana might face up to 15 years in prison.

When it comes to the legalization of the marijuana trade, Thailand has taken a piecemeal approach by keeping a number of restrictions in place. Individuals cannot possess marijuana since it is still considered a narcotic, even if the government has opened up the plant’s supply to corporations.

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