Last updated on September 26th, 2023 at 08:43 am
Is marijuana legal in Thailand?
The short answer is that Thailand legalized the medicinal use of cannabis, including marijuana, in 2019. The longer is that it is complicated.
In June of 2022, Thailand removed nearly all restrictions on the cannabis plant for possession, use, and growing. The only exception to this is that extracts with a THC content of 0.2% or greater.
Currently, anyone, Thai or foreigner, is allowed to possess, consume, and grow marijuana, regardless of the THC content.
However, there have been both subsequent laws or proposed laws which would place some restrictions on using cannabis in Thailand.
For instance, the smell of cannabis smoke has been moved into the area of public health which means that exposing others to second-hand smoke is illegal.
In practical terms that means that if someone complains, you will receive a warning. If you continue to smoke in a way that is considered a public nuisance, you could be fined anywhere between 2,000 – 25,000 baht and receive anywhere from 3 months to 6 months for repeated offenses.
Also, it is illegal to sell cannabis to anyone under 20 years of age, to pregnant or breastfeeding women, on public school ground, in government buildings, etc.
For more information about the legal status of marijuana in Thailand, please see our complete Thailand legal marijuana guide.
What is the penalty for marijuana possession in Thailand?
We know that cannabis extracts with a THC content over 0.2% are still considered a Category 5 narcotic under Thai law. However, Thailand has made much ado about the fact that they are changing their approach towards drug use and possession and will be seeking fines and treatment over jail time.
Previously, prosecutors asked for a minimum of 5 years for possession of a Category 5 narcotic.
How do I get a medical marijuana prescription in Thailand?
You must go to a licensed clinic where a health provider, usually a doctor unless you see a Thai traditional medicine provider, who has received specialized training in cannabis treatment, will evaluate your medical condition to determine if cannabis is appropriate for your condition.
If the health professional determines that cannabis is an appropriate, they will provide you with a certificate that states that you are under the care of that physician and that they are prescribing cannabis.
This will allow you to possess cannabis extracts with greater than 0.2% THC content.
Typically, certificates are good for only 30-days. To continue treatment, you must revisit the clinic.
What type of medical marijuana is available in Thailand?
At the moment, the two primary forms of medicinal cannabis are THC and CBD tinctures. The CBD is typically a 1:1 ratio CBD to THC formulation and the THC is just THC.
In terms of buds, Thailand has an excellent selection. Strains that are commonly seen across many dispensaries are AK47, OG Kush, Thai Stick, Wedding Cake, Gelato, etc.
Can I use my medical marijuana prescription from home while in Thailand?
At the moment, no. However, there is a bill before Thailand’s parliament which would allow foreigners to import and export CBD for personal medical use, if the foreigner has an appropriate prescription from either a Thai or foreign physician.
Can foreigners get medical marijuana in Thailand?
There are no laws in Thailand that distinguish between Thai and foreigner patients for medical marijuana.
That said, most government clinics where cannabis is available have waiting lines so long that they will not accept foreigners as patients.
However, most patients seeking care at private cannabis clinics have reported no problems getting appointments or being able to obtain medications.
Are there marijuana dispensaries in Thailand?
There are currently two paths to obtaining cannabis in Thailand:
The first is via a licensed clinic and involves the care of a licensed physician or traditional medicine practitioner. They mostly prescribe tinctures.
Since June 9, 2022, online and brick and mortar shops have opened across the country supplying buds.
Why is marijuana illegal in Thailand?
Believe it or not, despite having had some of the harshest drug laws in the world, marijuana has been an integral part of Thai traditional medicine for hundreds of years.
Prior to the Marijuana Act B.E. 2477 (1934) there were no laws prohibiting the cultivation or use of marijuana. Even with the Marijuana Act B.E. 2477, marijuana was still widely used in Thailand and enforcement was lax.
However, under mounting pressure from the US and other countries, the Thai government passed the Thailand Narcotics Act, B.E. 2522 (1979) which introduced much harsher penalties and enforcement.
When did marijuana become illegal in Thailand?
Marijuana became illegal in Thailand in two stages. The first stage was via the Marijuana Act B.E. 2477 (1934) which, for the first time in Thailand, prescribed criminal penalties for the cultivation, possession, or sale of marijuana.
However, the law often ignored and marijuana cultivation and use continued with limited government push back until the Thailand Narcotics Act, B.E. 2522 (1979) was passed which contained much harsher penalties for any type of possession.
Can I grow marijuana in Thailand?
Yes. Anyone is allowed to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Is recreational marijuana legal in Thailand?
Technically, no. The Thai government has said that they have only legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
However, there is no requirement to seek a medical marijuana card or certificate to possess, consume, or grow marijuana.
As some Thai cannabis advocates have phrased it, it’s recreational without being called recreational.