Thailand decriminalises cannabis, extracts with high-inducing THC still an illicit drug

PHOTO: Facebook / อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล (Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul)

Thailand’s health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, has confirmed that the Narcotics Control Board has approved the removal of cannabis from the Category 5 list of controlled drugs. According to a report from the Associated Press, Anutin says the drugs that remain on the list are opium, magic mushrooms, and extracts of cannabis containing more than 0.2% by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

According to Anutin, in order for the cannabis extracts to become legitimate, a regulation will need to be issued. The health minister says extracts can only be used for medical, industrial, health or food processing reasons. According to the AP report, the news has left Thai police and lawyers uncertain as to whether possession of the drug is still an arrestable offence. While the production and possession of the drug remains regulated for now, the legality of recreational use has become a grey area.

In 2020, the production and use of cannabis for medical reasons was decriminalised in Thailand. This mean most parts of the cannabis plant were removed from the list of controlled drugs. However, the seeds and buds, primarily associated with recreational use, were kept on the list. The new proposal will see all parts of the plant removed.

Anutin says anyone who wants to grow cannabis or hemp should wait for the new ministerial announcement, to avoid any confusion over what’s permitted. Growers must also register with the authorities and will need official permission to produce extracts from the plant. It’s understood a draft bill goes before parliament today, with the new law expected to come into force 120 days following publication in the Royal Gazette.

SOURCE: The Associated Press

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