The State of Thailand’s Budding Marijuana Laws
The 2.5 months since the decriminalization of cannabis in Thailand have seen mixed reactions from the Thai public. From the almost 1 million people who submitted registrations to grow cannabis plants within the first month to the sensationalized media coverage and starkly negative public opinion polls, this decision, an unprecedented one in a region notorious for its strict cannabis laws and stricter punishments, has been rather controversial.
So is weed legal in Thailand now? And what does this mean for the average person looking to light up, grow a few plants, or down that cannabis-infused bubble tea? In short, because the June 9th decision merely removed cannabis from the narcotics list, Thailand will almost certainly put into place further regulations to control its use. On top of this, the balance between public approval and the economic gains of an industry projected to bring in $33bn by 2025 means that, for the time being, Thailand’s marijuana laws, and especially specifically those regarding its recreational use, are only half-baked.
Why did Thailand legalize weed?
The removal of cannabis from the narcotics list, led by Deputy PM and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul effectively made weed legal in Thailand, a first within Asia. Though this move was, as claimed, intended to facilitate its medical uses and to limit abuse, the staggering projected worth of the marijuana industry and the boom it is sure to contribute to a tourism sector that has struggled through Covid surely did not hurt.
What are the basic laws I need to know about?
Despite the focus of the Thai government on medical use, the nature of the regulations surrounding cannabis in Thailand has allowed for certain freedoms in its use, growth, and distribution. We’ll focus here on what the average person, Thai or foreign, needs to know before they grow or consume cannabis following weed legalization in Thailand.
Of course, as mentioned above, the situation is dynamic, with a new set of regulations currently making their way through parliament and, most likely, on their way to implementation. Current laws are listed here in bold, while key items in the new bill are listed in italic.
So let’s start with what you can do:
- Purchase cannabis and its products from dispensaries, cafes, and restaurants.
- Smoke within a private residence
- Grow an unlimited number of plants in your home after registering in the PlookGanja (Grow Cannabis) app. No formal permission is required. However, the new bill, if passed, will place a limit of 15 plants on at-home growers without the need for permission and a limit of 5 rai of plants for household use with permission.
- Sell cannabis without first receiving permission, though, with the passing of the new bill, permission from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be required. Growers with no more than 5 rai (8000m2) of plants who violate this item would face 1 year in prison and/or a 100,000 baht ($2,770) fine.
- Purchase cannabis extracts. However, these products are capped at a THC content of just 0.2%, similar to the European Union’s rules. The new bill would place further restrictions on sales and advertising online and through vending machines, at the risk of up to 1 year in prison and/or a fine of up to 100,000 ($2,770) bah if these rules are not adhered to.
Now what can you not do?
- Possess or use cannabis or cannabis products without a doctor’s permission if you are under 20 years old, pregnant, or nursing.
- Smoke in public places as this has been listed as a public nuisance due to the odor and the possibility of second-hand smoke. Those caught doing so may face up to 3 months in jail and/or a 25,000 baht ($693) fine. This may change in the future.
- Produce or purchase cannabis extracts containing THC content over 0.2%
Where can I buy weed seeds in Thailand?
As the increase in popularity of these new weed laws in Thailand continues, more growers will want to try their hand at cultivating cannabis. Some will obviously take advantage of the ease of walking into a dispensary and ordering ready-grown products. But for those green-fingered smokers in Thailand, ordering of weed seeds will be something to spend many an hour thinking about. Ordering cannabis seeds online has never been easier, with a huge variety to choose from, detailed strain information, and great offers available. Many reliable seedbanks also now ship to Thailand, so be sure to check out our list of the best online marijuana seedbanks to buy from.
So what’s in store for Thailand now?
With possible benefits to both small-scale farmers looking to supplement their incomes, the tourism industry, and beyond, it is exciting to watch the situation unfold in Thailand. Of course, readers can follow events as they unfold here on The Weed Feed, including further changes to cannabis laws in Thailand.