Despite new rules allowing home grow for medicinal purposes, and for use in the production of food and cosmetics, Thailand is not keen on encouraging cannabis tourism.

When asked about recreational use among foreign visitors, health minister Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters: “We don’t welcome those kinds of tourists.” 

Thailand’s health minister said cannabis tourists are not welcome in the country

The new regime got off to a bumpy start when it came into force in June, with businesses openly selling cannabis on the streets of Bangkok and the government issuing a number of new measures amid fears over unchecked use of the substance, including by children.

It banned all public smoking of cannabis and sales to people under 20, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. 

Other rules included banning cannabis from schools, a requirement for retailers to provide clear information on its usage in food and drinks and the application of a health law defining cannabis smoke as a public nuisance punishable by jail and a fine.

Tourism is a major source of income for Thailand, which welcomed a record 40 million visitors in 2019. That figure slumped to under 500,000 during the pandemic, but is expected to top eight million this year.

While the country has targeted its cannabis policies on medicinal use, the minister refused to rule out legalising recreational use in the future.

“Maybe it will come,” he said.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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