Thailand FDA Drafts Cannabis Legalization Bill

A new bill drafted by Thailand’s FDA would legalize the home cultivation of cannabis for personal medical use and adult-use purposes.

Full story after the jump.

Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has drafted a bill to legalize home cultivation of cannabis for personal medical use and consumption, and adult-use in some locations, the Bangkok Post reports. The move comes after the nation’s Public Health Ministry issued a resolution to exclude cannabis from the narcotic’s list.

FDA Secretary-General Dr. Paisarn Dunkum said on Monday that the bill would allow people to grow cannabis for their own consumption on the condition that they report the cultivation to their respective provincial administrative organizations and that household consumption would be only for medical purposes.

Pairarn told the Post that adult-use could be allowed in some locations but the details are not outlined in the proposal. He told the Post that a committee of the Public Health Ministry, chaired by its permanent secretary, would work out the details for adult use.

“Of course, we won’t go to the stage of cannabis cafés, but there are different models for its recreational use in other countries. We’ll select the best one that suits our social context.” —  Pairarn to the Post

The bill includes penalties of three years and or a 30,000 baht (about $908) for those who break the new cannabis law. Under current Thai law, cannabis is a category-5 narcotic, and possession can lead to up to 15 years in jail.

In 2020, Thai officials approved allowing cannabis and hemp products in cosmetics and food and the following year started to allow hospitals to produce cannabis-based medicines. In 2019, the nation invalidated all cannabis patents following a public outcry after patent applications for GW Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceutical were not immediately rejected, raising concerns over industry monopolization in the Thailand marketplace.

Chaiwat Sowcharoensuk, an analyst at Krungsri Research, told Bloomberg earlier this month that “producers of soaps, beauty products, and cosmetics” who use cannabis in their products will likely benefit the most from the reforms.

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