Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health has issued a new decree aimed at tightening controls on the use of cannabis for commercial, research, study and export purposes.
The text, which entered into force this weekend, replaces that published on June 16, widely criticized for being considered too lax and open to abuse.
Under the new decree, only the cannabis flower is classified as a controlled part of the plant – unlike the leaves which can be used more widely, for example in cooking – and anyone who wishes to carry out research, study, export, sell or processing this herb for commercial purposes must obtain an official permit and comply with the related conditions.
The sale of cannabis in any form to students, persons under the age of 20, pregnant women or nursing mothers is prohibited.
Any additives such as leaves must be clearly stipulated by restaurants. If dishes are cooked with cannabis, restaurants must clearly state this, whether from cannabis flowers or cannabis leaves. Otherwise, consumers can sue restaurant owners and business owners.
Selling through vending machines or via vans, like the one presented at the top of the article, is now prohibited. Consuming in commercial premises is also prohibited, unless the sale is made by doctors, traditional medicine practitioners or certified rural doctors and for medical use.
Any form of advertising for commercial purposes is prohibited.
Cannabis can no longer be sold in public parks, amusement parks, temples, places of worship or hostels.
About 5,000 sales licenses have already been distributed in the country.
The definitive regulation of cannabis, the Cannabis Act, is still expected by growers and cannabis retailers alike. It should arrive in early 2024.