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Thailand’s Cannabis Law

Happy Herb Farm
19 February 2019
The Narcotics Act (No. 7) B.E. 2562 came into effect on February 19th, 2019.

Those who are interested in growing marijuana must grow it solely for medical benefits or research and development purposes. They can do so by applying for permission at the Food and Drug Administration Ministry of Public Health and must be qualified through government agencies that have relevant duties as required by law, doctors, dentists, first-class veterinarians, pharmacists, Thai traditional medicine, applied Thai traditional medicine, folk healers, private tertiary institutions that teach medicine or pharmacy, and community enterprise social enterprise or agricultural cooperatives by collaborating with government agencies or private higher education institutions.

15 December 2020
Since December 15th, 2020, the Ministry of Public Health has announced that marijuana and hemp remain under the narcotics category 5.

Only parts of marijuana and hemp that are grown or produced in the country are classified as not being narcotics, such as leaves that are not attached to inflorescences, branches, stems, bark, roots, and fibers, including extracts containing CBD as components and residues from extraction, which must contain no more than 0.2% of THC, for medical benefits research study products, health products, etc. People can use parts of marijuana that are not classified as such drugs to cook, make medicine, etc. As for the import of marijuana, it is possible by requesting permission to use drugs, except for dry bark, dry stem core, and dry fiber, which are exempt from being a drug according to this announcement.

9 June 2022
In 9 June 2022, Thailand's Food and Drug Administration removed cannabis and hemp from the Category 5 narcotics list, essentially decriminalizing these substances.

Here are some key points to understand about Thailand's current cannabis law:

  • The medicinal use of cannabis is legal in Thailand. Medical cannabis was legalized in Thailand in 2018, making it the first country in Asia to approve cannabis for medicinal and industrial use. Extracted cannabis content must contain less than 0.2% THC, which is a small amount of the psychoactive compound that produces the "high" associated with cannabis.
  • Food and beverage products that contain cannabis are only legal if they contain less than 0.2% THC, and are intended strictly for medical purposes. However, many businesses in Thailand have taken advantage of decriminalization by offering cannabis-laced food and drinks, some of which may exceed the government's THC limit.
  • Recreational use of cannabis is still illegal in Thailand, including smoking in public. Violators of this law can face a 25,000 baht (around $690) fine and three months of imprisonment. However, the Thai government has expressed openness to further liberalization of cannabis for recreational use in the future.
  • Unlicensed vendors may sell cannabis products that far exceed the government's THC limit, creating a legal gray area for buyers and sellers. It is recommended that anyone seeking to use cannabis products in Thailand for medicinal purposes do so through approved channels of network-approved hospitals and clinics.
  • Possession and use of cannabis by people under the age of 20, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers is prohibited without a doctor's permission. Buddhist monks and novices are also prohibited from smoking or growing cannabis, but are allowed to use it to treat illnesses
  • It is important to note that Thailand's cannabis laws are still in development, and there may be further changes or clarifications in the future. Visitors to Thailand should take care to understand the current laws and regulations surrounding cannabis use to avoid any legal issues.

What could be a future of cannabis law in Thailand?

In Thailand, the future of cannabis law is a hotly debated topic, with potential changes and reforms that could have significant impacts on the country’s economy, society, and health. As it stands, the Draft Cannabis Act outlines regulations for the production, cultivation, and protection of individuals who may be affected by the consumption of cannabis, hemp, or their extracts. However, many advocates argue that the current laws are too strict and limit the potential benefits of cannabis legalization.

The future of cannabis law in Thailand looks promising with the Draft Cannabis Act outlining strict regulations for the cultivation, production, and protection of individuals affected by the consumption of cannabis and hemp. The Act covers everything from licensing and registration to penalties for misuse of these substances, providing a comprehensive framework for the safe and responsible use of cannabis.

Possible future changes to cannabis laws in Thailand could include expanding access for medical use, legalizing recreational use, or decriminalizing possession of small amounts. These changes could have significant economic benefits for the country, with the potential for a thriving cannabis industry and increased tourism. However, they also raise concerns about the potential for increased drug use and the need for effective regulation to prevent abuse and protect public health.


Under the Act, those interested in growing cannabis must obtain a license valid for three years, while household cultivation must be registered, and commercial cultivation requires a license. Violating licensing requirements can result in imprisonment or a fine, so it’s crucial to follow the rules.

Marketing and advertising of cannabis products are also tightly controlled, and statements that could be misleading or harmful to consumers or society are prohibited. Cannabis products are not to be sold to individuals under 20, pregnant or lactating women, and other individuals prescribed by the Minister of Public Health.

In addition, smoking cannabis in public places, driving while under the influence, and selling cannabis products through certain channels are strictly forbidden. However, those interested in growing cannabis for medical or research purposes can apply for permission, provided they meet specific criteria and qualifications.

The Ministry of Public Health recently announced that only certain parts of cannabis are not classified as narcotics and can be used for cooking, medicine-making, and other purposes. As the law evolves, it’s exciting to see how Thailand will continue to create a safe and responsible framework for the use of cannabis.

The cultural and historical context of cannabis use in Thailand is also important to consider in the future of cannabis law. Cannabis has been used for medicinal and recreational purposes in Thailand for centuries, and some argue that criminalization has unfairly stigmatized and marginalized certain communities. The potential impacts of cannabis legalization or decriminalization on these communities must be carefully considered and addressed.

Overall, the future of cannabis law in Thailand is complex and multifaceted. It requires thoughtful consideration of the potential benefits and drawbacks, as well as the perspectives of various stakeholders. As the debate continues, it will be important to prioritize public health and safety while also exploring the potential for economic and social benefits.