Only cannabis buds to be relisted as narcotic, says Thailand’s public health minister

A vendor checking cannabis aroma for sale at a popular tourist area in Bangkok, on May 9. - PHOTO: EPA-EFE via The Straits Times/ANN

BANGKOK (The Nation Thailand/ANN): Thailand’s Public Health Minister Somsak Thepsutin said on May 23 that only cannabis buds would be relisted as a Category 5 narcotic and that his ministry will soon issue a directive clarifying all points.

He said his ministry will also set regulations on planting, possessing, importing, exporting and using parts of the marijuana plant that are not outlawed.

In 2022, the Public Health Ministry issued a directive to remove marijuana and hemp from the national list of Category 5 narcotics as agreed upon by the Narcotics Control Board.

However, since Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin took office last year, he has repeatedly promised to recriminalise marijuana, causing concerns among small and large businesses that have invested in the ganja business.

On May 23, Somsak said a new directive of his ministry will declare that anything other than leaves, branches, roots, stems and seeds of the marijuana plant would be added to the Category 5 drugs list.

Somsak’s statement shows that only marijuana buds, which possess all the psychoactive compounds and are used for recreational purposes, will be outlawed. He also indicated that hemp will not be relisted as a drug.

He said the directive will also require that permission be taken for planting, possessing, importing and exporting marijuana, which can only be used for medical and research purposes and other similar benefits.

Somsak said the new system of permissions for planting or doing other cannabis-related businesses should not create too much of a burden on people.

He said the regulation will clearly define the qualifications of persons or businesses allowed to plant, import, export or carry out ganja-related businesses.

Mr Somsak also promised that the ministerial regulation will set a clear timeframe for enforcement, so businesses dealing with cannabis will have time to adapt their businesses accordingly. - THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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Thailand , Cannabis , Only Buds , Clsass 5 , Narcotics , Illegal


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