Cannabis bill goes to House today for urgent consideration

FILE PHOTO: A cannabis bill has gone to the House for urgent consideration today.

A new bill is set to be proposed to the House of Representatives today for urgent consideration to bring some regulation to the decriminalising of cannabis in Thailand. The bill took its lead from the best parts of several related laws and will propose restrictions on the growth and usage of the plant in the kingdom.

Under the rules proposed by this new bill, hospitals will be allowed to grow cannabis for medication as outlined in the Herbal Product Act. Family farms will be able to use a maximum of 15 rai dedicated to growing cannabis for them to use the fibre, trunk, and roots of the plant.

And for personal use, the new proposed law would allow individual households to cultivate up to 15 cannabis plants.

The new proposed bill that Parliament will consider draws inspiration from the Kratom Plant Act, the Tobacco Product Control Act, and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. The regulations would be legalised as the Cannabis and Hemp Bill if it passes through governmental vetting.

The spokesperson for the House committee currently considering the proposal says that the Cannabis and Hemp Bill will be proposed today and they’re expecting a response by September 19 at the latest. He said the future of cannabis regulation now sits in the hands of members of senators and members of parliament to review and hopefully pass.

Since being decriminalised in June, there have been a number of sensational stories about people consuming cannabis to disastrous effect, but the spokesperson says the current data shows a downward trend for cannabis-related patients in hospitals. He suggests that this is due to awareness campaigns that have educated people and kept the substance under control.

He acknowledged that the cannabis rollout has been flawed, but that there are more safety measures in place than when kratom was legalised last year.

Cannabis has been brought into the mainstream since its legalisation, with hundreds of small businesses popping up and thousands of established businesses incorporating cannabis and hemp-based products. Yesterday, the Central Pattaya shopping centre hosted a cannabis festival that was promoted by the mayor. In November, another large cannabis fair is planned at the Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.