Thailand’s new government has moved to fulfil a pledge to ban adult use with health minister Cholnan Srikaew introducing a bill to amend the country’s current cannabis legislation.

Shortly after taking office last year, prime minister Srettha Thavisin said his government would rewrite the country’s cannabis laws within six months to allow medical use only and put a halt to recreational sales.

Thailand decriminalised cannabis in 2022, but new rules allowing home grow for medical purposes and for use in the production of food and cosmetics got off to a bumpy start when businesses began openly selling the substance on the streets of Bangkok.

A street vendor sells cannabis in Bangkok (Photo by ThaimaaOpas on Unsplash)

The government quickly issued a number of new measures in response amid fears over unchecked use, including by children.

Under the new proposals, cannabis would be restricted to medical use only, with recreational use explicitly prohibited.

Authorised stores would only be allowed to sell parts of the plant that are legal – likely excluding flower due to its THC content – while advertising of buds, extracts and other products would be banned.

It is not clear whether a medical certificate would be required to buy medicinal cannabis. 

If the government agrees to the bill in principle, it will be submitted to the Lower House for review.

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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