The Public Health Ministry of Thailand has completed the first draft of the new Cannabis-Hemp Act, aiming to tighten regulations around the use of cannabis. The revised draft, comprising around 70 sections, is an amendment of the initial version with 94 sections. This update seeks to address public concerns and close loopholes that have allowed the recreational use of cannabis.
Under the new law, cannabis will continue to be recognized as a controlled herb, and any extract with more than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will remain classified as a narcotic. The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is still supported, but recreational use is discouraged. Individuals wishing to grow cannabis, even for personal use, will now require permission.
The original version allowed households to grow up to 15 cannabis plants for personal medical use by merely informing local authorities. However, the new law mandates obtaining prior permission. Licensed cannabis shops can continue operations but must adhere to stricter regulations, such as banning on-premises smoking and the sale of dried cannabis buds.
The law will also specify venues that cannot sell or permit the use of cannabis. While the ministry is not aiming to shut down cannabis shops, compliance with the new law is mandatory. The legality of smoking cannabis at home remains unclear and subject to further public feedback.
Discussing the distinction between cannabis and hemp, the ministry said the current law treats hemp as a type of cannabis with low THC levels. The agency now plans to open a public feedback window on the draft law until mid-December, allowing two weeks for opinions before finalizing and submitting it to the cabinet. (NNT)