Thailand’s Health Ministry Advocates for Strict Medical Use of Marijuana and Forms Panel to Examine Cannabis Bill

By Thailand THC

thailandTHC > News > Thailand’s Health Ministry Advocates for Strict Medical Use of Marijuana and Forms Panel to Examine Cannabis Bill

Last updated on September 26th, 2023 at 08:26 am

BANGKOK – Thailand’s stance on marijuana is undergoing significant shifts as the new government, led by the Public Health Ministry, emphasizes the medical and health benefits of the plant while sidelining its recreational use. The country, which had previously taken pioneering steps in cannabis decriminalization, is now doubling down on ensuring its responsible use.

Dr. Cholnan Srikaew, the newly appointed Public Health Minister, has been vocal about his perspective that marijuana should be strictly utilized for genuine medical and health purposes. This viewpoint comes amidst indications that recreational use of marijuana might soon be phased out in the country. Dr. Cholnan highlighted that cannabis remains classified as a “narcotic”, referencing the Public Health Ministry’s guideline that any extract with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content exceeding 0.2% is deemed a narcotic.

In a related move, the Ministry of Public Health is set to form a committee dedicated to examining a bill related to cannabis. The ministry emphasizes that the use of cannabis should be restricted solely for medical and health-related reasons. Public Health Minister, Dr. Cholnan Srikaew, highlighted the necessity for a cannabis law to regulate its use, stating that its application should be limited to medical purposes, with recreational use strictly prohibited.

Addressing the cannabis and hemp bill introduced by the Bhumjaithai Party, which secured its initial approval in parliament last June, Dr. Cholnan mentioned that a committee would be established to delve into the bill’s specifics to determine if any revisions are required. Following the study, the findings will be presented to the cabinet to decide whether the draft act should proceed or be replaced with a new one.

The decision to delist marijuana from the narcotics category in 2022 led to a surge in cannabis “dispensaries” across Thailand, particularly in tourist hotspots.

As Thailand navigates the complexities of cannabis legalization and its implications, the government’s focus remains clear: prioritize health benefits and ensure responsible use.