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Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Usage in Thailand

In the past couple of years, Thailand has made quite a few changes in the country’s political stance on marijuana. In 2018, the country announced that the use of cannabis for medical purposes would be legal for patients with a prescription, becoming the first Asian nation to legalize cannabis.

Following the introduction of medical marijuana, on 9th June 2022, Thailand removed marijuana from its narcotics list and decriminalized all cannabis-related crimes. Smoking cannabis for personal use is legal in private areas; however, smoking in public areas is considered a public nuisance.

In this Pacific Prime Thailand article, we take a look at the recent changes regarding cannabis and the use of cannabis in Thailand.

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Cannabis for Medical Purpose

Cannabis was used as a traditional medicine in Thailand up until 1935 when its possession, cultivation, sale, and use were criminalized by the Cannabis Act 2477 BE (1935), and then by the Narcotics Act 2522 BE (1979). In 2018, the Narcotics Act was amended, and the medical use of marijuana was legalized.

Since medical marijuana was made legal in 2018, patients with a doctor’s prescription can obtain medical marijuana from licensed facilities.

There have been many studies exploring the medicinal effects of cannabis. Research has shown that it can be used to help reduce side effects of late-stage cancer treatment. The cannabidiol (CBD) compound in cannabis can also ease depression and help with chronic pain and multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms.

Recreational Use of Cannabis

On 9th June 2022, Thailand officially decriminalized marijuana-related crimes. As a result of this change, approximately 4,200 prisoners convicted of marijuana-related crimes were released on the same day.

Recreational use of the marijuana was also made legal, as long as certain regulations were followed. These regulations include:

  • Individuals below the age of 20 cannot buy, possess, or use cannabis.
  • It is prohibited for pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.
  • Cannabis flowers cannot be sold via vending machines or online.
  • Extracts with over 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), whether natural or otherwise, are prohibited from the market.

Thailand First Approach

Whilst Thailand may be the first Asian nation to legalize marijuana, there are many other countries that have already legalized the recreational use of the drug and have a more mature cannabis industry.

For those thinking about using or selling foreign products, please be aware that only Thailand domestic cannabis is removed from the narcotics list. Foreign cannabis is still considered a narcotic; therefore, it is still considered illegal.

The Future of Cannabis in Thailand

Since the legalization of marijuana in 2022, Thailand’s cannabis industry has grown rapidly. According to a study conducted by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), the cannabis industry is projected to show significant growth, with its value estimated to exceed THB ฿43 billion by 2025.

Cannabis Medical Tourism

Medical tourism has always been significant in Thailand. With the legalization of cannabis, those seeking medical care in Thailand will have more treatment options, particularly those with terminal illnesses such as cancer.

Studies have shown that cannabis can help reduce the side effects of cancer treatment. This could make Thailand an attractive destination for those interested in trying cannabis treatment to offset cancer treatment side effects.

As with all medical treatments, it is vital to consult a doctor to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When did Thailand legalize cannabis?

The medical use of cannabis was legalized in 2018. The use and purchase of cannabis leaves were legalized in 2021, and on 9th June 2022, the entire plant was legalized.

Is marijuana legal for foreigners in Thailand?

The use of marijuana is legal in Thailand for both locals and foreigners. Marijuana products can be bought from dispensaries and used in private. Public use of marijuana is considered a public nuisance and has a legal penalty of imprisonment for up to 3 months, a fine of up to THB ฿25,000, or both.

Are there weed coffee shops in Thailand?

Yes, since the legalization of cannabis, numerous cannabis-related businesses have emerged in Thailand, including restaurants and coffee shops offering CBD-infused items.

Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Vista is a content creator at Pacific Prime. With over 8 years of writing experience for online platforms on various topics such as luxury lifestyle and digital entertainment. He enjoys diving into complex and otherwise confusing topics, and creating easy-to-understand content for the readers to help them navigate through the topic - something that’s perfectly aligned with Pacific Prime’s motto of ‘simplifying insurance’.

Born and raised in the cultural melting pot that is Hong Kong, and having studied at an international school, Vista has developed a multicultural perspective that he uses in his writing and strives to connect to people of different backgrounds.

In his free time, Vista enjoys immersing himself in different worlds, from video games to light novels and movies. His hobbies help him expand his writing style by putting himself in the point-of-view of different people and characters.
Vista Nip