Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to propose the narcotics control board remove cannabis from its controlled substances list, according to a Bloomberg report. Once cleared by the board, it would next have to be approved by Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul before taking effect.
Under current Thai law, cannabis is a category-5 narcotic and possession can lead to up to 15 years in jail. Withid Sariddeechaikool, deputy secretary-general of the FDA, told Bloomberg that if the nation is able to pass the reforms, the nation “will be able to benefit from all of the plant and not just parts of it.”
“The flower buds and seeds could be used economically and in compliance with the law,” she said.
Chaiwat Sowcharoensuk, an analyst at Krungsri Research, told Bloomberg that while the “law change will allow all parts of cannabis to be bought, sold and used,” adult use “will likely remain controlled” as cannabis extracts with higher THC concentrations “will still be regulated.”
“Producers of soaps, beauty products and cosmetics from marijuana will likely be the ones to benefit the most from the decriminalization.” — Sowcharoensuk to Bloomberg
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 public outcry after patent applications for GW Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceutical were not immediately rejected, raising concerns over industry monopolization in the Thailand marketplace.
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