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Cannabis in Thailand is Legal Leave a comment

Cannabis in Thailand is Legal. After easing the ban on the recreational drug, Thailand has created a ‘weed Wild West’ with confusing rules. So what are tourists allowed to do?

Since the delisting of parts of the marijuana plant as a narcotic last year, cannabis cafes and weed dispensaries have become common in Thailand.

Cannabis in Thailand is Legal

In Thailand, cannabis, known by the name Ganja (Thai: กัญชา; RTGS: kancha) was decriminalised on 9 June 2022. Medical use, with patients requiring a prescription, has been made legal since 2018. Since 2022, the Thai Food and Drug Administration officially removed cannabis plant from the Category 5 narcotics list. Possession, cultivation, distribution, consumption, and sales of all cannabis plant parts are legal.

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Cannabis extracts and cannabis products (including edibles, food supplements, cosmetics, etc.) containing THC more than 0.2% by weight are still categorised as narcotics. Import and export of cannabis are still highly regulated. Recreational use of cannabis products is discouraged but legal. There is no restriction on THC content for cannabis plant parts. Sales of cannabis plant parts, products, and edibles are prohibited to minors (< 20 years old), pregnant women, and breastfeeding women. Cannabis smoke is considered a public nuisance and thus prohibited in public areas.

Cannabis in Thailand is Legal

Cannabis appears to have been introduced to Thailand from India, with the similarity of the Thai name to the Indian term ganja cited as evidence. Cannabis has historically been used in Southeast Asia as an ingredient, a kitchen condiment, a medicine, and a source of fiber. Laborers were known to use it as a muscle relaxer. It was reportedly used to ease women’s labor pains.

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The possession, cultivation, sale, and use of cannabis was criminalised by the Cannabis Act 2477 BE (1935) and again by the Narcotics Act 2522 BE (1979).In 2018, Thailand became the first Asian nation to legalize medical cannabis.

Although cannabis was decriminalised, smoking or vaping in public places is still subject to punishment as a public nuisance infraction and can lead to a 25,000 baht fine.

Cannabis dispensaries were available as early as April 2022. On 9 June 2022, all cannabis plant parts were entirely removed from the narcotic list, decriminalizing all cannabis-related crime. Around 4,200 prisoners were released as a result of the decriminalisation on the same day.

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