BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Cannabis buds are now a “controlled herb” and cannot be sold to anyone under 20 years old, according to a Public Health Ministry announcement published on the Royal Gazette website on Wednesday (Nov 23).
The announcement, signed by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, revised the rules for cannabis, which carries the scientific name of Cannabis sativa L in the Cannabaceae family, to cut down on recreational use of the plant, which had earlier been removed from the Category 5 narcotics list.
The revised rules take effect the day after being published in the Royal Gazette.
The ministry’s classifying of cannabis buds – flowers that contain the main concentrations of cannabinoid drugs – as a controlled herb means that the sale to anyone under 20, pregnant or nursing women is banned.
Furthermore, this specific part of the plant cannot be sold via vending machines, electronic transaction or online, and cannot be advertised for commercial purposes.
Selling of cannabis buds at schools, temples or religious establishments, dormitories, public parks, zoos or theme parks is also prohibited.
Those who wish to import, export, sell, stock or use cannabis buds for research purposes must notify the authorities and provide details of controlled herb stocks they hold, sourcing and use.
Revising the cannabis rules is an attempt by Anutin to reduce pressure from opposition MPs and other parties, which are seeking to nullify the Public Health Ministry’s directive that decriminalises cannabis, following concerns of abuse and recreational use.
On Nov 10, Smith Srisont, a member of the Medical Council and president of the Forensic Physician Association of Thailand, filed a lawsuit naming Anutin and the Narcotics Control Board as co-defendants.
The lawsuit asked the Central Administrative Court to nullify the Public Health Ministry’s directive dated February 8, 2022, that removes cannabis from the list of Category 5 narcotics.