Photo by Alexandr Podvalny

News | 12.13.2021

Thailand To Remove Cannabis From Narcotics List As The Government Pushes Full Legalization

A step in the right direction.

Thailand will continue to head towards a marijuana-friendly nation as they loosen cannabis laws and remove the plant from its Category 5 narcotics list

As the country began seeing a surge in marijuana products, CBD tea, and the infamous “Crazy Happy Pizza” from The Pizza Company, the government took notice of the demand for marijuana-related products and decided to take one more step further. 

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Not all parts of the cannabis plant are potent in THC, the psychoactive component that stimulates a high. The leaves and the stem don’t contain much THC, which is why the Thai government removed those aspects from the plant from the Category 5 narcotics list in December 2020.

Leaving some parts of the cannabis plant illegal prevented Thailand from fully capitalizing on the potential of what they could commercialize. As of Thursday, the cannabis flower and buds with less than 0.2% THC are legal to use, process, and sell.

According to the Bangkok Post, the new narcotics code went into effect on Thursday, and it does not list cannabis, but the Public Health Ministry still needs to announce a revised narcotics list. Cannabis extracts that contain more than 0.2% THC will remain illegal.

Photo by East Asia Forum

Public Health Minister and leader of the Bhumjaithai Party Anutin Charnvirakul is at the forefront of cannabis legalization, which the ministry is pushing for sooner than later. This past weekend, Anutin visited Nakhon Phanom for the Cannabis Kickoff on Mekong Bank.

Anutin told listeners at the event that Thailand’s Health Ministry is striving to make aware that cannabis stems, roots, leaves, and sprigs “are not drugs.” He added that starting next year, the Thai government will remove all aspects of the plant from the narcotics list, which includes stems, roots, sprigs, leaves, buds, flowers, and seeds.

Photo by CNN Travel

Anutin even encouraged the public to begin growing their own cannabis to make some extra cash. Currently, if individuals have permission from the Thai government that allows them to grow cannabis, they have no limit as to how many plants they can grow per household. Anutin later explained that the new cannabis initiatives would help people who’ve been affected by the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said when the economy picks back up with help from cannabis-related businesses; then companies could create new products and business models, “which will, in turn, speed up the economic recovery.” In addition, the ministry also wants to promote other herbs like hemp and kratom.

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