Since the government delisted specific marijuana plant parts as narcotics last year, cannabis cafés and dispensaries have become more prevalent in Thailand. However, ongoing debates and conflicting legislative changes over what activities should be legal have led to the emergence of what has come to be known as a “marijuana Wild West,” which could put tourists on the wrong side of the law. Independent marijuana activist Kitty Chopaka claims that following legalization, nobody is entirely certain if they have the right information.
However, Mandel Menachem, of the weed information hub High, asserts that tourists have nothing to be afraid of as long as they follow basic guidelines and rules provided by Thailand’s ministry of public health.
So, what is permissible and what’s not? Let’s take a look.
Who is permitted to use it?
Anyone over the age of 20 is allowed to consume cannabis as long as they are not pregnant or nursing.
Where is its use permitted?
Cannabis can be smoked indoors, while marijuana-infused food can only be eaten from a restaurant with a permit. Smoking marijuana in public places such as temples, schools and malls is punishable by a $750 fine and a three-month jail term.
Chopaka advises being mindful to avoid invading other people’s space.
Where can you buy marijuana?
There are more than 2,600 dispensaries permitted to sell pre-rolled joints, marijuana flower, infused foods, CBD oil and edibles with less than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These dispensaries can be found in major cities such as Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Pattaya.
Can you cultivate it?
Individuals should apply for cannabis cultivation permits with the Food and Drug Administration. A license is also required to use marijuana buds for export, research or commercial use.
Is there a limit for consumption?
While there are no restrictions on personal consumption, the ministry advises against driving after using marijuana in any form.
What still violates the law?
Visitors are not permitted to bring into Thailand or take out of the country any parts of the plant. Furthermore, visitors must obtain permission to possess products with a THC content greater than 0.2%.
Although Thailand’s cannabis laws have come a long way, there are still new policies to be announced and details to be clarified. Those considering entering Thailand’s cannabis business scene are advised to keep up with new developments and seek legal counsel for expert guidance through the regulatory complexities.
As more international jurisdictions launch marijuana markets, internationally focused companies such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) are likely to have a wide pool of foreign markets to expand into in the years to come as countries allow cannabis imports.
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