Thailand’s new rules allowing home grow for medical purposes, and for use in the production of food and cosmetics, got off to a bumpy start after businesses began openly selling cannabis on the streets of Bangkok.
Last week, the government quickly issued a number of new measures in response 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.
Critics have accused the government of rushing the removal of criminal penalties for cannabis use before passing legislation to regulate it. A draft bill is still making its way through parliament.
But health minister Anutin Charnvirakul defended the approach. “We legalised cannabis for medical use and for health,” he said. “Usage beyond this [is] inappropriate… and we need laws to control it.”