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  • Legalized Cannabis

    Legalized Cannabis in Thailand

    Things you need to know about Medical Marijuana in Thailand

    Cannabis, otherwise known as “Ganja” was historically popular in Thailand as a traditional medicine. Once known as one of the world’s most potent, Thai Ganga was often used by labourers as a muscle relaxer. However, the crop was banned in the 1930s – up until 2019 when medical marijuana was legalised once more. While recreational use of cannabis remains illegal, cannabis can be used to treat certain symptoms, relieve chronic pain and reduce anxiety. Below are 5 things you need to know about medical marijuana in Thailand.

    Approved Treatments Using Cannabis
    Certified organisations can now use cannabis oil, pills, or drops to alleviate pain in 38 ailments including cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, depression and a large number of muscle and bone issues. Aside from these, there are multiple other approved conditions. Thailand’s Minister of Public Health suggests for cannabis treatment, in conjunction with standard medical treatment to enhance overall effectiveness. Furthermore, he also stresses the importance of consulting a physician about the risks and benefits before using cannabis to treat conditions to avoid any negative side effects.

    Hospitals with Cannabis Treatments
    About a month ago, Cancer Alliance Hospital Siracha in Chon Buri Province established a medical marijuana department to improve cancer treatment. Moreover, cannabis oil from the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation can help to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. There are however, several hospitals in Thailand that now prescribe medical cannabis as a treatment option.

    Permission to Grow and Sell Marijuana
    Companies can now acquire permission to obtain, grow, create and sell hemp. As a result, they can also use its plant parts to manufacture medications, cosmetics and food. However, official supervision of all cannabis farming is mandatory. In an interview, Marut Jirasrattasiri, director-general of the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, states that licensed private medical practitioners will be able to “grow, produce, and export marijuana”. Thus, Thai farmers will have more income options and will further open doors to both domestic and international investments.

    Weed is on the menu in Thailand! Medical Marijuana
    Since cannabis has multiple benefits in terms of alleviating stress and enhancing moods, many restaurants in Thailand are now incorporating hemp into their menu. From hemp-infused Thai dishes to ‘hilarious french-fries’, ‘giggling bread’ and ‘joyful pork soup’, hemp-flavoured dessert to herbaceous tea. These mouthwatering dishes will leave you wanting more and more.

    Cannabidiol Treatments at Wellness Centres
    About a week ago, Papuri Wellness introduced a new ‘Special Onsen’ package, which drew more attention than usual. This was because the secret ingredient in their package was marijuana. Panpuri Wellness is popular for their luxury spa facilities in Bangkok. Since Thailand relies on wellness tourism, tourists can now import and export medical marijuana as permitted by the government. Due to legalization, Thailand’s wellness clinics can now harvest and process marijuana. Thus, cannabis could become an important aspect of luxury wellness tourism in Thailand.

  • #2
    Push for Thailand as Medical Marijuana Hub starts November 2021
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    Authorities say Thailand will launch its bid to become Southeast Asia’s world-class medical marijuana hub next month. Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul plans to push marijuana as a major industrial crop according to the Director-General of the Department of Medical Services. The Ministry and Department will work together to promote the crop and put Thailand’s medicinal marijuana police into effect on November 10. The plan is to legalise and promote marijuana as a medical treatment for a wide variety of afflictions, boosting the plant’s status as a major industrial crop.

    That would create a huge potential for economic boom domestically, giving Thailand a financial boost, while also lending credibility and attractiveness to Thailand as a medical tourism destination, something Thailand’s plastic surgery industry had already somewhat bolstered before the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The Health Ministry is focusing on expediting policy to allow Thailand to grow and produce cannabis products and globally recognised medicines after medical marijuana clinics launched previously and generated 7 billion baht this year. They hope to push fast industry growth to solidify Thailand as the medical marijuana hub of Southeast Asia, the first country to support it in the region.

    The Department of Medical Services Director-General also believes that the general population’s attitude regarding ganja has softened a bit, even in conservative Thailand, and people are coming around to the benefits of the crop for medicine and for the economy. He believes that the people of Thailand could earn money by accepting and promoting medical tourism to the country.

    Thailand is developing its credibility with the establishment between the government and private sector of the International Medical Cannabis Research Centre with doctors specialising in medical marijuana to help grow, extract, and research cannabis.


    • #3
      Narcotics Control Board clarifies cannabis laws after Health Minister’s statements

      While Thailand’s pro-cannabis Public Health Minister,Anutin Charnvirakul, just insisted to Thai media that cannabis is not narcotic and even asked authorities to let residents grow and sell cannabis as it is another way for people to earn more income, the Narcotics Control Board just held a press conference yesterday saying that yes, it is still a narcotic. And only Thai citizens who have permission from the government can grow cannabis, as long as it has low traces of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

      In the video press briefing, authorities from the Office of the Narcotics Control Board said that cannabis with traces of THC over 0.2% are still classified as a narcotic under Narcotics Control Act. The non-psychoactive component cannabidiol, or CBD, which is known to have medicinal properties, is legal, and many cafes have popped up in Thailand over the past year offering dishes seasoned with cannabis leaves.

      Officials also said only Thai citizens will be allowed to grow cannabis. They must have permission from the Ministry of Public Health and the approval is limited to some groups. The authorities from Narcotic Control Board explained that cannabis with THC over 0.2% is still included in the list of Narcotics Control Act, adding that people who grow and sell cannabis without permission will be arrested.

      Cannabis can be grown only after asking permission from the Ministry of Public Health and Food and Drug Administration. The persons who will be approved to do so are state organisations, educational institutions, medical institutions as well as agricultures, residents, or businesses that work together with approved institutions or organisations to produce medicine or conduct research. Anyone who grows, imports, or exports cannabis in Thailand without permission can face a penalty of up to five years in jail and a fine up to 500,000 THB


      • #4
        Thailand’s crazy cannabis laws explained

        Thailand’s recent changes to the laws around cannabis have sparked confusion across the country, with many questioning, “Is weed legal now?” Well.. not the weed that will cause a high. There’s a limit on the plant’s psychoactive component, known as THC, so you won’t get stoned when you order a cannabis-infused tea or dish topped with a pot leaf. Those who smoke cannabis can still be arrested in Thailand. Cannabis extracts with more than 0.2% of the high-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, are still illegal. So when you see cannabis products and dishes for sale in Thailand, they have higher levels of the plant’s non-psychoactive component cannabidiol, or CBD, which is known to have medicinal properties, like reducing anxiety.

        The country’s Public Health Minister Anutin Charvnikul has been pushing for legalisation before the Covid-19 pandemic. Anutin is also the leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, which ran its election campaign promising cannabis legalisation. But the minister has recently said he’s only promoting the cultivation and production of cannabis for medical purposes.

        Here’s a quick timeline of cannabis in Thailand over the past three years…

        February 2019: Cannabis use approved for medical purposes
        Cannabis use was approved for medical purposes, but cannabis use for recreation was not allowed.

        December 2020: Local cannabis growers given the greenlight
        The Thai government approved the cultivation of cannabis and the production of products, but for cannabis with less than 0.2% THC. Certain parts of the cannabis plant – the leaves, stems, stalks, and roots – were taken off the narcotics list, but the THC-rich buds and flowers remained. Under the law, farmers need permission from the government to grow cannabis.

        Throughout 2021: Cannabis cafes bloom
        Following the delisting of cannabis leaves from the narcotic’s list, cannabis cafes in Thailand have popped up offering teas and dishes made with cannabis leaves.
        Pizza Company started offering a “Crazy Happy Pizza” with flavours from Thailand’s famous spicy tom yum soup paired with cannabis. The pizza is topped with a deep-fried cannabis leaf, the cheese crust is infused with cannabis, and the dipping sauce is made with chopped cannabis. Sounds like a stoner pie, but it won’t get you high.

        January 2022: Cannabis removed from narcotic’s list
        Cannabis – including the buds – were taken off the narcotic’s list, except for extracts with more than 0.2% THC. The revisions to the narcotics laws were intended to lift restrictions for those growing the plant for medical purposes or research.


        • #5
          “Ganja-naburi”: Kanchanaburi is becoming Thailand’s medical marijuana capital

          Kanchanaburi… more like “Ganja-naburi.” The western province is becoming a hub for medical marijuana, aka ganja, with more and more community enterprises getting licences to grow the once-criminalised plant. 260 kilograms of cannabis were harvested for the second time at a medical marijuana event in Kanchanaburi yesterday. The cannabis was planted six months ago by eight community enterprises that are licenced to grow medical marijuana.

          In 10 days, four more community enterprises that recently received licenses will begin growing their first marijuana plants. In total, the 12 enterprises aim to grow 87,300 marijuana plants, which will make Kanchanaburi the biggest producer of medical marijuana in Thailand.

          Yesterday, both farmers and community enterprises gathered at the event with the cannabis they harvested. Representatives from the Department of Traditional and Alternative Medicine examined the marijuana before handing it over to the government to enter the procurement and distribution process. One Tambon One Product, a local entrepreneurship stimulus programme that aims to support locally made products, will help to produce and distribute medical marijuana-related products made in Kanchanaburi.

          Pracharatch Party MP Somchai Witsanuwong took to the stage to say he is glad to see community enterprises successfully implementing the use of technology to cultivate medical marijuana. Somchai added that, by further expanding the medical marijuana network, Kanchanaburi will be the largest source of medical marijuana in Thailand. A new marijuana plantation is being set up at the River Kwai Herbal Therapeutic Centre as the centre’s president Wisart Pojprasart has given eight community enterprises an area to grow medical marijuana free of charge.


          • #6
            US company opens medical marijuana clinic in Thailand

            A US cannabis company has jointly opened a medical marijuana clinic in Thailand, making it the first foreign franchise to do so. The clinic, located on Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 13, treats Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer, eating disorders and insomnia. The clinic predicts that changes to Thai laws in July will allow them to give patients THC-dominant products for research purposes.

            Smoking marijuana recreationally is still illegal in Thailand. But in 2020, Thailand became the first Asian nation to allow the production and use of medicinal purposes, under strict controls.

            Herbidus Medical Center, which opened on March 7 this year, is jointly run by a Thai company ‘NR Instant Produce’ and Las Vegas based company ‘Audacious’. The clinic is located on the 4th floor of the ‘Trendy Building’ on Sukhumvit Soi 13, between Nana and Asok BTS stations.

            The clinic’s doctors usually give patients a bottle containing a liquid high in cannabidiol, or CBD, with 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in line with Thai law.

            The company buys the oil for 450 baht from the Thai government and then sells it to customers for 1,000 baht, according to the clinic’s Thai partner Julpas Kruesopon.

            However, the cannabis oil that Audacious produces in the US has much higher levels of THC, making it much “stronger.” Julpas predicts that medical treatment using stronger levels of THC will become permissible under supervision in July, allowing the clinic to give patients THC-dominant products for research purposes.

            Julpas said that in the future, he hopes the company’s products will be sold in the US and Canada. Currently, the clinic is seeking more Thai partners to develop CBD-infused beauty creams, herbal medicine, spa treatments and beverages.


            • #7
              3 cannabis medications added to Universal Healthcare Coverage

              Three traditional cannabis based medications have been added to Universal Healthcare Coverage, commonly known as the gold card scheme, by the National Health Security Office.

              The three medications include: paralysis treatment, treatment for sleep problems and food consumption, and treatment for muscular pain and limb numbness. The three were approved by the NHSO board meeting on May 2nd, according to NHSO secretary-general Jadet Thammathataree.

              The NHSO worked with the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine to supply the medications. People with a Gold card will get them for free. The National Health Security Office has reserved over 3 million baht for the medicines.

              Cannabis oil has been authorised by the NHSO to treat cancer, Parkinsons’, and epilepsy.


              • #8
                Cannabis Flowers are a “Controlled Herb” in Thailand

                In response to public concern about recreational abuse of cannabis since its decriminalisation last week, Thailand’s Health Minister has signed a ministerial regulation to make cannabis flowers – the part of the plant with high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol – a “controlled herb.” The legislation specifies who is and isn’t allowed to access the THC-rich flowers. The legislation will come into effect once it is published in the Royal Gazette, according to Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

                The legality of recreational use of cannabis in Thailand has been a major source of confusion since the plant was removed from Thailand’s list of Category 5 of narcotics on June 9. One thing is clear – extracts made from the plant can’t have a THC content of more than 0.2%. However, the flowers – or “buds” – are a bit more difficult to regulate.

                Now that Thai people are legally allowed to grow cannabis at home, and the plant is not considered a drug, people want to know whether smoking cannabis is legal or not. Possession of any part of the cannabis plant is legal, but cannabis smoke is considered a “public nuisance.” Meaning, smoking cannabis in public is a criminal offence punishable by 3 months in prison and a fine of no more than 25,000 THB – if someone reports you for it.

                However, if no one considers cannabis smoke to be causing public nuisance, then smoking the flowers in private spaces is not technically breaking the law. This little loophole might explain the deluge of marijuana “dispensaries” popping up all over Thailand since June 9, such as “Sukhumweed” on Sukhumvit Soi 42 in Bangkok, where you can simple walk in and buy cannabis flowers in all different flavours, with high-percentages of THC, as if you’re in Spain or California.

                The new legislation specifies that people who can access the “controlled herb” must be over 20 years old. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are barred from access to the herb and patients who get prescribed cannabis can possess the herb for no longer than 30 days. The legislation is designed to ease concerns of the public, some of whom have expressed concerns about the effects of marijuana decriminalisation on Thailand’s youth. Today, Thai media reported that one parent is not happy after their 14 year old child ended up in hospital after using cannabis recreationally.

                Classifying cannabis as a “controlled herb” is a just temporary measure to ease public concern over recreational cannabis abuse while the Cannabis and Hemp Bill goes through the motions in Parliament, after passing its first reading in the Lower House. Thailand’s FDA reported that over 800,000 people have registered to grow cannabis on the Plook Ganja application and website since June 9. Foreigners are not allowed to cultivate cannabis, because registration requires a Thai ID number.