Cannabis crusade: A glimpse into the Thailand’s cannabis law reforms in 2024

In 2021, Thailand made great strides in its approach to cannabis regulation, becoming the pioneer nation among its Southeast Asian counterparts to decriminalize the use and possession of marijuana. This groundbreaking move has led to an explosion of marijuana-related businesses throughout the country and propelled Thailand into new economic territories.

Thailand strives towards cannabis regulation reform

The growth of this business, however, has arisen largely in the absence of significant oversight and regulation. This unchecked expansion has raised several public health concerns, with critics arguing that there are potential risks associated with the increase in recreational cannabis use.

The Thai government, being aware of these issues, has been working to tighten its control over the ever-growing marijuana industry. Specifically, the government’s main objective is to confine cannabis use strictly to medical and research contexts, thereby reducing the risks associated with recreational use.

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To achieve this, the government has proposed a new law, called the Cannabis-Hemp Act. This legislation, which is presently subject to a period of public review, seeks to bolster regulations and controls over the cannabis and hemp industry. The proposed law was intended by the government that these industries meet defined standards and ensure that the industry’s growth does not compromise public health. The law is set to be implemented from 2024 onwards.

Key aspects of the proposed regulations include the following:

  • 1.) Stricter Controls on Personal Cultivation: Individuals will need to obtain permission before growing cannabis, even for personal medicinal purposes, which aims to close loopholes exploited by commercial growers.
  • 2.) Regulations for Cannabis Shops: The government plans to prohibit the sale of cannabis buds for smoking and any equipment for smoking inside shops. Existing cannabis shops with proper licenses can continue operations but must comply with these new rules.
  • 3.) Fines and Penalties: The draft bill introduces fines of up to 60,000 baht (around $1,700) for recreational cannabis use. There are also penalties for advertising or marketing cannabis for recreational use.
  • 4.) Licensing and Regulation: The government will tighten licensing rules for cannabis planting, sales, exports, and imports. Growers will need to apply for a license, and existing dispensaries must renew their permits in accordance with the new regulations.

Industry discussion on looming changes to Thai cannabis laws

Cannabis crusade: A glimpse into the Thailand's cannabis law reforms in 2024 | News by Thaiger
Industry leaders discuss the new Thai cannabis reformation laws

The Thaiger recently attended an event hosted by Kitty Chopaka at Siam Green where industry leaders came together to discuss the impending changes to Thai Cannabis Laws. Here are what some of them had to say:

“As of now, the fate of unregulated weed shops and dispensaries, as well as individuals who have planted cannabis on a household scale, is not entirely clear.”

“The public and industry stakeholders have been given a deadline of January 23 to submit their feedback on the bill.”

“Following this, the cabinet will review the draft legislation and public suggestions before it goes to parliament for further deliberation.”

“These changes reflect the Thai government’s intent to control the cannabis industry more tightly and limit its use to medical and research purposes, moving away from recreational usage.”

“The final outcome will depend on the parliamentary process and the feedback received from the public.”

The proposed changes to the Thai Cannabis Laws have brought uncertainty concerning how these unregulated entities will be impacted. As of now, it is far from clear how these changes will pan out. What is their future under the updated laws and how will their operations be affected? These are questions still awaiting answers.

As mentioned before though, it will take the actions of the parliamentary process and the feedback from the public opinion to determine the final outcome of this whole process.


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Alessio Francesco Fedeli

Graduating from Webster University with a degree of Management with an emphasis on International Business, Alessio is a Thai-Italian with a multicultural perspective regarding Thailand and abroad. On the same token, as a passionate person for sports and activities, Alessio also gives insight to various spots for a fun and healthy lifestyle.

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