Thailand's Cabinet has agreed to the removal of cannabis from the narcotics list under an approved ministerial regulation of the Ministry of Public Health, deputy government spokesperson Traisulee Traisaranakul said on Tuesday.
The regulation states that research will be conducted on the effects of cannabis in medicines, cosmetics and herbs in line with government’s policy to boost the country’s production competitiveness and improve indigenous varieties.
Traisulee said: “Preliminary, this regulation allows the cultivation of cannabis plants by individuals and corporations, subject to the conditions on trade and possession.
“The regulation also states that cannabis plants can be grown at the maximum of one rai [1,600sqm] per household. Growers must be licensed, and grow only species specified in the new regulation”.
For juristic entities – organisations that have the legal rights of a person – to be eligible, they must be at least two-thirds owned by Thais or have as many on the executive board, the Bangkok Post reported. Once permitted, individuals or juristic entities can produce, sell, possess, import or export hemp.
Earlier this month, the government unveiled its plans to increase medical cannabis availability for people in Bangkok and its surrounding areas by opening more cannabis clinics and providing a booking service via the smartphone app “Dr Ganja in TMM”.
Last month, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha made a case for the use of medicinal cannabis while attending a roadshow event of the Unesco Creative Cities Network.
The event focused on the importance of both traditional locations and smart cities.
Ministry permanent secretary Sukhum Karnchanapimai also promoted medical marijuana use at the event.
The prime minister said substances from cannabis needed to be handled carefully and that medical use was aimed at helping people with low-income access affordable medicines. However, he warned that without supervision by medical professionals, it could be harmful.
Prayut later launched the website www.medcannabis.go.th, which provides information about medical marijuana use to the public.
He also set an example by inhaling cannabis oil and applying it on the back of his ear and said that he was going to buy the oil and try it later.
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK