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The Legal Landscape of Cannabis in Thailand

Weed is legal in Thailand since June 2022

On June 9, 2022, Thailand became the third country in the world (the first in Asia) – after Canada and Uruguay – to decriminalise cannabis. This is a big step for Thailand, which has been perceived as one of the toughest countries in the world for using weed.

Cannabis was removed from the category five narcotics list, and over 3,000 prisoners who were convicted for marijuana-related crimes were released on the 9th of June. According to the announcement, this opened up growing and consuming weed for medical purposes. 

The new amendment allows persons aged 20 years and above to “possess, utilise, look after, and maintain” cannabis. In other words: You are allowed to smoke weed in Thailand.

However, there are still a few questions around cannabis liberalisation in the country – which are being addressed in the upcoming Cannabis-Hemp Act, sometimes at the end of 2022. The legalisation was not “supposed” to encourage people to stay home high all day long. The intention was to help sick people. But hey, we have seen that story take place in both Canada & USA before.

However, do note that it is a highly dynamic and evolving situation as lawmakers continue to debate the regulations. Consequently, the article will be updated as the situation develops.

Smoking & Possession of Weed

Smoking weed in Thailand is legal
Smoking and buying weed is legal in Thailand.

Legally speaking, you can possess and smoke cannabis flowers as no law states otherwise. You can buy a bud from the shop, smoke it in the comfort of your privacy, and get high. You can even fly with weed domestically. Obviously, this part does not hold good when carrying weed in and out of the country, as a Brazilian student experienced who bought legal weed in Thailand brought it to Bali, where he was arrested.

Even if you are thinking of carrying weed into Thailand with a medical prescription, we strongly suggest you don’t. Instead, we recommend you find a healthcare practitioner in the country and get your medical cannabis prescription from them. It is still illegal to bring cannabis over the Thai border.

The only part you must consider – and this is a big one – is smoking it in public.

You cannot light up a joint and smoke pot on the beaches or while walking down the street. It is considered a public nuisance and has penalties: up to three months in jail and a fine of $700 (approximately 25,000 THB). In other words, be respectful of the people around you, as not everyone may like smelling pot wherever they go.

You may come across some cafes with dedicated smoke rooms, away from the public eye. Here it is perfectly fine to enjoy your newly purchased marijuana.

Cannabis Edibles & Drinks

Food and beverage products which contain cannabis – come under the category of cannabis extracts. As per the law, these cannabis extracts can not contain more than 0.2% THC – the psychoactive compound that gives the weed it’s high.

Therefore, edibles, CBD oil extracts (like those in our online weed shop), gummies, etc., are legally allowed to have THC only in trace amounts.

Moving forward, vendors selling cannabis-infused drinks and edibles must follow food norms, which include attaching a label stating that the product contains marijuana (with a few specifications) and attending a tutoring course. So in the coming months, you may find cannabis products with different labelling (similar to how it is in the West).

Walking around town, you will find plenty of restaurants and shops selling cannabis-infused dishes and beverages – sometimes with more than 0.2% THC, especially in popular tourist destinations. Therefore, it is technically illegal, and we advise you to be careful.

Growing & Selling Weed

People can grow and trade marijuana and hemp products. At home, you are allowed to grow 15 plants. However, growing weed at home is only available for Thai citizens since you need to register your plants at a website which only accepts Thai social security numbers.

Fun fact: When the app went live, more than 30 million logins were registered, causing the system to crash and go offline for a short while.

When it comes to selling weed and weed-related products, paperwork and licences are needed. Documents like commercial business licenses, official identification, details about where you are sourcing the cannabis, physical store information, etc., will need to be given.

If you are selling cannabis food products, drinks, or cosmetics, you must register and obtain the necessary permissions from the Thai FDA. All the while, you must also ensure that the extract/product does not contain more than 0.2% THC by weight.

Note: Once the Cannabis-Hemp Act is implemented, various licenses may be required for growing, producing extracts, selling the plants and associated products, and importing & exporting cannabis.

CBD Oil

CBD oil tinctures and other cannabidiol-related products like gummies are legal to buy and use in Thailand. In fact, CBD has effectively led the way for cannabis liberalisation owing to its non-psychoactive, non-high nature.

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is legal in Thailand
Medical marijuana is legal in Thailand since 2018.

Cannabis as a medicine has been used in Thailand for thousands of years and has a fundamental relation to Thai culture. Therefore, medical marijuana has been legal in Thailand since 2018. The use of medical marijuana is 100% legal. All lawmakers and pro-cannabis supporters are of the idea that the herb can help treat a variety of health conditions.

This was also the main reason behind the legalisation of cannabis – to further explore the medicinal and health benefits of the plant. So if you want to visit Thailand to seek an alternative, natural remedy in marijuana for your health condition, you are good to go.

You can visit state-approved health facilities to get a marijuana prescription for your condition. Your existing prescriptions from your doctor elsewhere will not work if you want to buy medical weed. However, they can be used to justify your condition to your Thai doctor.

Do note that those with a cannabis prescription can possess a quantity needed for not more than 30 days of use at a time. But you are entitled to legally possess THC oil.

Vaping, Hash, Weed Oil, & Other Extracts

Hash is a concentrated form of weed and, therefore, is considered cannabis extract. Since it contains large amounts of THC, it is illegal by law.

The same holds good for weed oil, THC oil, vaping oil, wax, dab, and other extracts which are processed from cannabis plants. These products are illegal in Thailand, and we do not recommend their use.

Vaping has always been illegal; even if you see people using it casually, it is still against the law. Vaping weed is a double hit and will definitely let you have a taste of the long arm of the law.

Cannabis Legalisation – the Way Forward

The cannabis market in Thailand is expected to go upwards of $1.2 billion by the mid-2020s. Another key reason behind legalising marijuana was to unlock its potential as a cash crop and empower society by giving new income streams.

Even though cannabis enthusiasts find themselves in limbo with uncertainty surrounding its legality of it, the recent cannabis laws that opened up its use will not be taken back or cancelled. In the words of Health Minister Anutin himself“going backwards is not an option.”

So if you choose to smoke weed in Thailand, here is what you need to remember:

  • Recreational use is considered illegal and frowned upon, so please don’t smoke it in public.
  • Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and those under the age of 20 cannot buy cannabis.
  • You are not allowed to drive a motorcycle, car or other vehicles while high.
  • CBD oil and other CBD products are perfectly legal.

Just remember to do it with respect, so you don’t disturb anyone.