In the past article, we have talked about Thailand’s marijuana laws and their limitations. There have been some developments in Thailand marijuana scene in the past few years. Some observations include more people growing marijuana in the country as well as marijuana-themed menus are introduced in some cafes and restaurants.
This article will look into the timeline, 2022 development, and prospects of Thailand legalizing marijuana.
Table of Contents
Timeline of Thailand's progress in legalizing marijuana
- 1979: Thailand passed Narcotics Act AD 1979 to replace the original Narcotics Act AD 1922 and Marijuana Act AD 1943. Cannabis fell into the category of a type 5 Narcotics (i.e. illegal)
- 2019: Thailand passed the Narcotics Act (No. 7) in 2019 to allow the usage of cannabis for research and medical purposes
- 2020: FDA announced that cannabis leaf, root, and CBD produced by certified sources are exempted from being part of type 5 Narcotics
- 2021: 100+ locations (government agencies and state-registered agricultural communities) have registered to grow cannabis with the FDA
- 2021: Restaurants and cafes are incorporating certified parts of cannabis into their menus
- 2022: January 2022 – the Thai government has annouced a plan to remove cannabis from its drug list. This move, once formalized, will allow households to grow cannabis for non-commercial use at home
- 2022: May 2022 – the government has announced an update which is expected to take effect in June 2022. The update will allow households in Thailand to register to grow cannabis at home through Plook Ganja mobile application
- 2023: Another amendment of the Narcotics Act might take place in 2023
Growing marijuana in Thailand
There are now more than 100 companies and state-registered agricultural communities that have registered to grow cannabis with the FDA throughout Thailand. Registered households can grow up to 6 cannabis plants while registered companies operate on a larger scale.
In this example, the company is growing almost 1,000 plants. The FDA keeps track of approved locations, and you can see that households and companies are growing cannabis throughout Thailand.
The Thai government announced a new project in August 2021 to dedicate 10,000 rai (16 square kilometers) of land area for herb plantation development. The project however, also includes plantation of cannabis and hemp. This project will be developed in the Eastern Economic Corridor located in Chonburi, Rayong and Chasengsao (3 Eastern province in Thailand).
Furthermore, the Thai government has announced a plan to exclude cannabis from its drug list in 2021, allowing households to grow cannabis for non-commercial use. This change however, still needs to be published in the Royal Gazette, after which it will take another 120 days to come into effect.
Thailand legalizing marijuana for the F&B
The FDA is reporting over 5,000 patients who received cannabis as part of their medical treatment each month. However, the general population can only legally consume cannabis at restaurants and cafes that incorporate certified cannabis into their menu.
We are starting to see new cafés that specialize in cannabis and CBS menu like GTG Café.
Most recently, COCA, a long-standing Thai restaurant brand (since 1957), also introduced a Cannabis menu under “Coca feel good”. In this menu, they incorporate cannabis into main dishes, soups, and desserts (reviews and photos in Thai).
Photo and review from Spoonwalk.
What’s the prospect of Thailand legalize marijuana for more usages?
The answer is we are still unclear on this. Thailand is still very strict and far away from countries like the Netherlands when it comes to marijuana law. There are, however, interests from both the private and public sectors on this. It would be exciting to see the developments in the coming years ahead of, hopefully, another revision to the Narcotics Act in 2023.
Check out our other posts on Thailand: