The Thai Ministry of Public Health has released a guide for tourists titled “10 Things Tourists Need to Know about Cannabis in Thailand” in order to inform visitors about the legalities and limitations of cannabis in the country.
As the first Asian nation to decriminalize cannabis, Thailand has seen an increase in interest in cannabis-based products among tourists and travelers. However, the ministry has also reported a rise in the recreational use of marijuana. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has emphasized that the goal of decriminalization is to promote the medical use of marijuana and create economic opportunities for local people. He has warned that foreigners who wish to visit Thailand solely for the purpose of using marijuana should reconsider their plans.
In the current legal climate, hundreds of cannabis dispensaries – both recreational and medical – have opened. The ministry has asked provincial tourism offices to distribute the English-language handbook to visitors and plans to make it available in other languages including Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Russian.
The guide covers the following 10 points:
- It is not allowed to carry seeds or parts of cannabis plants into or out of Thailand for personal use.
- Cannabis cultivation is legal, but registration through the Food and Drug Administration’s Plook Ganja application or a government website is required.
- Obtaining an official permit is necessary for using cannabis flower buds for research, export, and sale, as well as processing them for commercial purposes.
- Individuals under 20 years old, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women are not allowed to use cannabis, except under the supervision of healthcare professionals.
- Possession of extracts containing more than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and synthetic THC requires permission.
- Cannabis-containing dishes are available at authorized restaurants.
- Approved cannabis health products can be accessed through specific channels.
- Smoking cannabis in public spaces, including schools and shopping malls, is illegal.
- It is advisable to avoid driving after consuming food or health products containing cannabis.
- Those experiencing negative health effects from consuming cannabis should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.