Last week, Thailand legalized marijuana cultivation and possession, but the new rules include regulations and exclusions that could put a damper on the country’s image as a cannabis refuge for travelers.
Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalize marijuana for medical and industrial purposes when the Thai Food and Drug Administration withdrew marijuana and hemp off the Category 5 narcotics list. However, Thailand will not legalize recreational marijuana on a nationwide level, and the Thai government will impose restrictions on the new rules. According to a statement on the Thai government’s official Facebook page, the new cannabis legislation were drafted with medicinal, economic, and health-related goals in mind. Congrats!
What Does “Legalization” Really Mean
For years, marijuana has been a hot topic in Thailand. Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to allow the use of medical marijuana in 2018. Thailand’s health minister declared in May that once cannabis was legalized, the Thai government will send 1 million cannabis seeds to Thai homes.
So, what does this signify for travelers that are thinking about visiting Thailand? Is it going to be a cannabis paradise like Amsterdam? Most likely not. Here’s a rundown of what you can and can’t do in the country when it comes to cannabis consumption.
Only 0.2% THC Is Allowed = Hemp!
In Thailand, cafes and restaurants are permitted to provide cannabis-infused food and beverages, but these goods must contain less than 0.2 percent THC in order to be legally marketed. Most states that have legalized cannabis do not have a potency cap,.
While the policies on medical marijuana for visitors are still unclear, some of the material that has been given appears to be positive. In an interview with Bloomberg in 2020, Marut Jirasrattasiri, director general of the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, said, “Both Thais and foreigners will have the ability to be treated with medicinal marijuana in the future stages.”
Government Warns “Cannabis Tourists”
The government clearly warns to read the laws carefully, because the possession and consumption of “recreational cannabis” is still illegal.