Thailand Cannabis Reclassification: Timeline and Key Updates

Draft Regulation to Reclassify Cannabis and Hemp as Narcotic

June 11, 2024: The Ministry of Public Health released a draft regulation to reclassify cannabis and hemp as category 5 narcotics. The draft proposed that cannabis and hemp would be classified as category 5 narcotics, effective January 1, 2025, with non-narcotic parts (leaves, stems, fibers, roots, seeds, and extracts with THC less than 0.2%) remaining legal. Public feedback was open until June 25.

The draft regulation did not mention any grace period for businesses to comply with the new rules.

June 26, 2024: Following the public consultation period, 76.54% of 111,200 votes supported the reclassification proposal.

Approval by Narcotics Committee of the Ministry of Public Health

July 5, 2024: The Narcotics Committee of the Ministry of Public Health approved the proposal to reclassify cannabis flowers as a Category 5 narcotic. This approval marks a significant step in potentially reversing part of the 2022 decriminalization.

Important details:

  1. The reclassification applies only to cannabis flowers, not other parts of the plant.
  2. Extracts containing more than 0.2% THC are already classified as narcotics.
  3. The proposal now moves to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) for review.
  4. If approved, the changes are expected to take effect on January 1, 2025.

Next steps:

  • During July: The ONCB will review the draft proposal.
  • Following ONCB approval: Adoption of the reclassification regulation and its publication in the Royal Gazette.

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Source:  Facebook Chokwan Kitty Chopaka

Controversy and impact

The reclassification process has sparked debate over the transparency of public consultation. Critics argue that the online opinion gathering may have been biased, potentially favoring large corporate interests over public health concerns.

This recriminalization will significantly impact Thailand’s cannabis industry, affecting users, producers, and businesses. It reflects broader political disagreements related to drug policy in the country.

As this situation continues to develop, stakeholders in Thailand’s cannabis industry should stay informed and prepare for potential regulatory changes.

Read my main article about the cannabis business in Thailand:

 Cannabis business in Thailand

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