Thailand Lifts the Ban on Cannabis Opening the Floodgates of Legal Trade

Author
Author Aleph One
09 June 2022
The cultivation of the cannabis plant and the sale of its derivatives are now legal in this South-East Asian country.
09 June 2022
26 min read
Thailand Lifts the Ban on Cannabis Opening the Floodgates of Legal Trade

Thailand has become the first country in the region to remove any restriction on growing cannabis by either companies or private citizens. Now, everyone is allowed to grow up to six plants at home and sell the products. The only requirement is to register with the local government.

Earlier, the government announced its plans to help the new policy take off by giving away a million plants for free to people who think about becoming cannabis farmers. At the same time, cannabis use for recreational purposes is still illegal, and those caught smoking in public will be arrested and fined for public nuisance.

The Prospects are Still Murky

No one seems to know for sure what the new policy means or how the situation will develop going forward. The law states that various marijuana-based products that can be sold must not contain more than 0.2% THC, weed’s principal mind-altering compound. Anyone who has been following the global cannabis policy knows that this definition means hemp – a non-psychoactive type of cannabis plant that is grown for fiber, seeds, oil, and many other industrial purposes.

It’s not clear how the authorities hope to enforce the standards if the plant can be grown anywhere and by practically anyone. It’s common knowledge that in tropical countries like Thailand the genetic shift in previously non-psychoactive hemp varieties will occur very soon and will gradually lead to an increase in THC production.

Without stringent control of what clones and seeds can be used for each season, every plant will soon be in violation of the less-than-0.2-percent rule. Experts say that the new law has in effect decriminalized any form of marijuana in the country.


Thailand Lifts the Ban on Cannabis Opening the Floodgates of Legal Trade: A glass jar with marijuana buds and two pre-rolls lying next to it

If not for smoking, what is cannabis exactly legal for?

The Trade Has Begun Even Before the Legislation

The move in this direction has been a gradual one. The Thai authorities have taken a unique incremental approach where they first allowed the trafficking of stems, roots, and leaves, and then did the same for flowers, seeds, and leaves. The nation was also the first in the region to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis in 2018.

The government’s hope is that the new industry will help jump-start the post-Covid economic recovery, give a boost to agriculture, and attract even more tourists to Thailand. With the promise of speedy reforms, many companies have long embraced the new crop, using cannabis in cosmetics, food, drinks, medicines, and even pizza toppings.

 

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