- Context and Importance: This article addresses the concerns of community enterprises and cannabis shop owners in Chiang Mai and Lamphun provinces following the Thai Prime Minister’s announcement to restrict cannabis use to medical purposes only.
- Key Takeaway 1: Community enterprises and shop owners are seeking a collaborative solution with the government to mitigate the potential negative impacts on local growers and businesses.
- Key Takeaway 2: The article highlights the ongoing debate in Thailand regarding cannabis regulation, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach that considers the rights of local growers and entrepreneurs.
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND – The recent announcement by Thai Prime Minister Setha Thaweesin to limit the use of cannabis to medical purposes has stirred concerns among community enterprises and cannabis shop owners in Chiang Mai and Lamphun provinces. These local stakeholders are now calling for a joint effort to find a suitable solution that addresses the potential challenges posed by this regulatory change.
Community enterprises, such as the Phai Herbal Plant Support Enterprise in Ban Thi District, Lamphun Province, have been closely monitoring their cannabis crops and preparing products for their customers. These enterprises have obtained legal permits for their operations, yet the shift in government policy has left them uncertain about the future.
The Prime Minister’s statement reflects the government’s intention to control the widespread opening of cannabis shops across the country, which has escalated since the legalization of cannabis. As of now, there are thousands of cannabis shops operating throughout Thailand.
Pravine Saiyaleth, Deputy Chairman of the Phai Herbal Plant Support Enterprise, expressed his willingness to comply with any new regulations. However, he emphasized the need for the government to work collaboratively with local enterprises to find a solution that minimizes the impact on those who have already invested significantly in this sector.
Similarly, Jiraporn Bangsriwong, a cannabis shop owner in Chiang Mai, voiced her support for clear and consistent regulations, such as requiring medical prescriptions for cannabis purchases. She highlighted the importance of ensuring that the new regulations do not hinder the accessibility of cannabis for the general population and do not adversely affect local businesses.
On October 12, 2023, the Thai Cannabis Future Network, led by Prasitchai Nunual, submitted a draft Cannabis Act to the parliament, seeking to establish clear guidelines for cannabis cultivation and use, while affirming the basic rights of citizens to grow cannabis under a regulated system.
Kasem Saeku, a senior reporter, concludes the article by emphasizing the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach to cannabis regulation in Thailand, taking into account the rights and interests of local growers, businesses, and the general population.
Source: Thai PBS