All started in December 2018 when Thailand announced as the first country in Asia to decriminalise medical use of cannabis; which was controlled via Cannabis Act 2477 BE and Narcotics Act 2522 BE. The changes of both acts went into effect February 19th, 2019. This move opened the legal use of medical cannabis for farms, pharmaceuticals and patients, which all required a licence to grow, distribute or use. One of the biggest companies in this field is actually GPO – Government Pharmaceutical Organisation which developed several cannabis based products for medical use.
As a beneficial by product of this move the often negative image of cannabis in the public sector opened up and people start to understand more about cannabis and its benefits. Even food, cosmetics and other products made from cannabis (however with no active substances) became popular and many marketing campaigns were done to push the the cannabis business; which was exactly the government target to create a new business sector and stimulate the economy by setting the goal to become the leader in the cannabis industry.Back then if you wanted to smoke legally the only way was to get a medical certificate that will be issued by an authorised doctor, clinic or hospital. Also this certificate needed to be renewed every 2 month.
As the time moved on it looked like that this is the only step towards the legalisation of cannabis in Thailand. A sudden change was until early 2022 as it was announced and the bill approved by the cabinet that cannabis will be completely removed from the list of banned drugs meaning that all parts of the plant will be legal from then on and hence possession, cultivation and consumption can’t be legally punished anymore.
As the cabinet approved this move and with that decision the government was committed to draft and set the new law which will become effective 120 after the decision and will be official with the announcement in the Royal Gazette. Rumours were big as there were no more details really published- Activist and pro cannabis movements held several meetings and public events in the hope that the government really keeps the hopeful promise and that its going in the right direction. All these mixed feelings and directions came suddenly to a stop as of 9th June 2022- the actual decision to remove all parts of cannabis came really into effect and as of this date cannabis is completely removed from the list of narcotics; meaning possession, cultivation and consumption is not punishable by any law anymore.
To understand the sudden 360 degree move you need to know that it has some political background: The current minister of public health Anutin Charnvirakul from the Bhumjaithai Patrywho was initiating for the total legalisation of cannabis in Thailand wants to run for the next elections as prime minister. Generating an option for additional income in the cannabis industry is a big campaign and winning argument for him. Especially for poorer people like farmers or people effected by the pandemic open a new way of income with the cannabis industry will be favorable for Anutin Charnvirakul when running for prime minister.
However there are of course certain rules and this is where High Thailand comes in to clearly explain what you can do and what you can’t do. Also the situation is still not 100% clear as until now theres no real new draft/ law to control cannabis and what you can do with it- so far it only has been removed from the list of narcotics and some smaller announcements in the royal gazette were announced.This is why we recommend you to follow our News, FAQ and Facts to be always up to date and we promise you following us you will never get in trouble with the law and cannabis.