Cannabis removal from Thailand’s narcotics list up for discussion

Photo via Facebook / อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล (Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul)

Cannabis is a small step forward toward decriminalisation following the endorsement by the Public Health Ministry’s narcotics control committee draft miniserial announcement excluding cannabis with low THC content from the country’s narcotics list. Cannabis extracts with more than 0.2% of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, will still be illegal.

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board (not to be confused with the ministry’s narcotics control committee) will discuss the draft at their meeting on January 25. If approved, the draft would then need to be signed by the Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who is a vocal advocate for cannabis legalisation, and then published in the Royal Gazette to be made official.

Yesterday, the ministry’s narcotics control committee held a meeting with 28 authorities from the Ministry of Health, Narcotics Control Board, Thai Traditional Medical Council, Pharmacy Council, and others related to drug control in Thailand about removing cannabis from the narcotics list. They agreed to remove cannabis from Category 5 of Thailand’s drug list. According to Nation Thailand, the legal exemption only applies to cannabis grown in the country.

Parts of the cannabis plant, with low traces of the high-inducing THC, were removed from Thailand’s Narcotics Act back in December 2020. However, cannabis is still on the Public Health Ministry’s list as a Category 5 substance, meaning that those who grow the plant, even if it has low amounts of THC, can still be arrested.

According to the National News Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration will further establish rules for cannabis plants similar to alcohol or cigarettes. The Deputy Secretary-General of Food and Drug Administration, Withit Attawetchakul, says those with permission will be able to grow cannabis for production.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand| Bangkok Post | Nation Thailand

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