ABOUT CANNABIS BUSINESS IN THAILAND
“Cannabis” is recognized by many health professionals and the locals in Thailand as a medicinal plant with a high potential for therapeutic use and has a long history in the Thai traditional medicine practice. However, the enactment of the Narcotics Act in 1979 classified cannabis as a type of narcotic plant, and hence, its usage was prohibited by law.
In 2019, the Thai government began to unlock certain regulations allowing cannabis to be used for health and medical purposes under restrictions. Thailand is the first amongst its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia where the government promotes and legalizes the medical usage of cannabis.
The main objectives are for people to safely utilize medical-related cannabis inventions and to reduce illegal cultivation and commercialization of the plant. It is expected to also help boost the Thai economy. Though, this idea stirred a debate within Thailand’s somewhat conservative society.
While the amended Narcotics Act in 2019 legalized the usage of cannabis and hemp in the medical space and for research and development purposes to a certain extent, both types of plants were listed under category 5 of narcotic substances, meaning, many limitations are still in place.
The complete legalization of cannabis in 2022
On December 11, 2021, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced in the launching event of cannabis model city in Nakorn Phanom province that ‘all parts’ of the cannabis are no longer listed under narcotic substance based on the new Narcotics Code, effective December 9, 2021.
Anutin addressed the Health Ministry’s policy to promote the use of medicinal herbs consisting of cannabis, hemp, and Kratom by appointing the Department of Thai Traditional and Complementary Medicine to invent new policies to increase cannabis product value and create more jobs for people growing the herb and more income for manufacturers. This will allow Thai people better access to the products with more options to receive medical treatment. The push for this policy paved the way for hospitals and clinics all over the country to offer complimentary treatments using cannabis. In the meantime, the Health Ministry is researching and innovating new health-related products by making use of these medicinal herbs that will help improve the health of Thai people
The Health Ministry has been urging related parties to legally facilitate the usage and commercialization of cannabis and hemp by removing the herbs from category 5 of controlled narcotics. This implies that all parts of cannabis including root, stem, stalk, leaf, flower bud, inflorescence, and seeds will no longer be listed as narcotic substances. Only cannabis extract with THC over 0.2% will remain on the list. In addition, the process to request a license to grow the plant will be simplified which will benefit farmers or community enterprises who are interested in this business to generate more income.
As for the next step, the Health Ministry will officially announce the new list of controlled narcotics and other related regulations. As a result, products made of cannabis oil or extracts, such as soap, cosmetics, and supplements with THC lower than 0.2% can be used at will.
The cannabis regulation in Thailand has come a long way, but it is still evolving with new measures to be declared and specifics to be clarified. For those interested in entering Thailand’s cannabis business scene, it is recommended to keep abreast with new developments and seek legal advice for professional guidance through the complexities of the regulation.
" Since the adoption of country legal medical cannabis in Thailand in 2019, commercial licenses in the industry have proliferated. Many prospective licensees lack the relevant cannabis experience to fully develop their business models. This has presented a new type of business opportunity for those with mature, successful operations that are located either in or out of the country franchising."
Thaikanya Co.,Ltd. legal medical cannabis grade have cannabis markets that are larger than 100 mlllions baht. Thaikanya products were the first legal cannabis in thailand to open retail cannabis store, wellness products, spa products, and medical CBD oil, THC oil, telemedicine altogether, and had a forecast combined consumer that purchased cannabis products in 2023 worth than 300 millions baht. Thaikanya company limited we luanched cannabis products provide to 5 stars hotel and luxury spa which cannabis industry has experienced an exponential growth of 139.2 % per year between 2019 and 2022.
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