Thailand’s industrial cannabis industry has just been an early Christmas gift, with the country’s Narcotics Control Board deciding to remove cannabis from the narcotics list.
Thailand currently considers cannabis a category 5 drug, making it difficult to grow, manufacture and sell for non-recreational purposes.
It was revealed in a press conference earlier this week that cannabis will be delisted entirely, making it easier for community enterprises and the government to grow cannabis for textile, food, pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetic purposes. The de-listing includes cannabis leaves, stems, stalks and roots, as well as Kancha and Kanchong (types of hemp). CBD oil was delisted back in 2019.
According to secretary-general Paisan Dankhum from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the decision is designed to stimulate Thailand’s industrial cannabis industry. The delisting does not legalise cannabis, as the cultivation, manufacturing and selling of cannabis will be initially limited to government agencies and organisations with permission from the FDA.
The FDA has also promoted hemp as the new “cash crops”.
The delisting is likely to go into effect in the coming months. Before this can happen, the FDA needs to draft regulations for the Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to sign. The regulations will then become law after they are published in the country’s Royal Gazette.
While Thailand has typically taken a draconian stance to cannabis, its cannabis industry is budding quickly. The country opened its first medical cannabis clinic in January 2020 and has already passed a proposal that allows medical cannabis patients to grow their own cannabis. The recreational use of cannabis remains illegal.
Despite Thailand’s rapid growth, Australia is still the worlds fastest growing cannabis market – expanding 2,975% since 2015.