is marijuana legal in Thailand_cannabis salad

Is marijuana legal in Thailand? 2022 update and outlook

Is Marijuana legal in Thailand? Understand Thailand cannabis legalization process

There has been news about Thailand legalizing marijuana. You might also have seen photos of food and beverage businesses incorporating cannabis in their menu. Many of our readers have raised a lot of questions along the line “Is marijuana legal in Thailand?”. This is not an uncommon observation especially after Thailand initiated its push to legalize cannabis in 2019 – and there has been a lot of market movements until 2021. 

Now in 2022, Thailand is starting to release details on the requirement and process which will allow households to grow cannabis/marijuana at home. Learn more about latest trends with us in this article!

Thailand passed the Narcotics Act (No. 7) B.E. 2562 (A.D. 2019) which allows the use of cannabis for medical and research purposes. 

However, this does not mean anyone can freely grow, have in possession, consume or distribute cannabis. Understand restrictions and allowed usage according to the most updated Thailand drug law below.

Table of Contents

Understanding Thailand drug laws

The Narcotics Act of B.E. 2522 identified marijuana as a category 5 illegal substance. Category 5 includes cannabis, hemp, psychoactive mushrooms, krathom, among other things. Possession of category 5 illegal substances can lead to imprisonment or fine of up to THB 1.5m (~USD 50,000). However, with the Narcotics Act (No. 7) B.E. 2562 effective on February 19th 2019, the use of cannabis for medical and research purposes is now legal. 

Footage from SCMP on 360 Cannabis Expo, Thailand.

Is Marijuana legal in Thailand then?

The short answer is NOT YET, to a larger extent. This is because recreational usage of cannabis is still illegal. Moreover, people can only use cannabis leaves and roots for cooking.

Can anyone cultivate cannabis? Only licensed medical professionals, state-registered agricultural community programs and government agencies can cultivate and possess cannabis. 

The state-registered agricultural community program allows households to grow up to 6 cannabis plants each – with intended medical usage.

In order to consume cannabis, you will need a prescription obtainable only from a FDA-licensed physician. However, locally produced CBD extracts (with less than 0.2% THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis) are exempted. People can use these extracts for medical and herbal usage.

2022 cannabis legalization update

In 2022, the Ministry of Public Health is pushing for legalization of all cannabis parts. And this is seen as the last remaining hurdle for the full use and commercialization of cannabis. Previously, Thailand removed stems, roots, leaves and sprigs of cannabis from its Category 5 narcotics list, but kept flowers and buds on it. Under the new Narcotics Code, cannabis and hemp are no longer on the list.

However, one form of cannabis will remain in the list i.e. cannabidiol (CBD) extracts with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of more than 0.2%. This is not to worry the general public because most commercial use of CBD (in soap, cosmetics, supplements, etc.) has <0.2% of THC. This level of THC is deemed dangerous according to the WHO.

January 2022

In January 2022, the government has announced a plan to remove cannabis from the drug list. This means they are allowing households in Thailand to grow cannabis at home after notifying the local government. This change however, still needs to be published in the Royal Gazette, after which it will take another 120 days to come into effect. 

May 2022

In May 2022, the government announced a plan to allow households to register and grow cannabis at home. The plan is set to roll out in June. Interested households can register through a mobile application “Plook Ganja” without having to go through any approval.

June 2022

Now that we are in June 2022, the Thai government has legalized cannabis for cultivation and commerce. Marijuana and hemp were legally removed from the narcotics list effectively on June 9th, 2022. You still cannot smoke cannabis in public though. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay a penalty of 25,000 THB (or USD 780) or a jail sentence of up to 3 months. On the other hand, the legality of smoking cannabis at home or in private areas remains ambiguous. 

There is some recent news about the application for cannabis cultivation at home via the Plook Ganja app. The excitement of the Thai people registering for cannabis cultivation caused the app to crash. Keep in mind that to use the app to register you will need Thai ID number. 

Is marijuanna legal in Thailand_plook ganja

Thailand drug law on marijuana and its impact today

There are state-registered pilot programs for households that are growing cannabis plants. 

Restaurants in Thailand also can legally use some parts of cannabis into their cooking. For example, they can use the leaves and roots supplied by FDA certified producers in their cooking.

This development is rather new. So there is still some misalignment between the FDA and Ministry of Public Health on the usage of cannabis plants. 

Regardless, you can see cafes and restaurants started using CBD and certain parts of cannabis in their offerings. This is happening only at a small scale today, not that mainstream yet. Some examples are IS AM ARE, Kiew Kai Ka Cafe and GTG Cafe.

The current Narcotics Act (No. 7) B.E. 2562 (A.D. 2019) will be up for another review in 2023. So, there is hope that the usage of marijuana will be a lot more open in the future.

(We also have a post about safety in Thailand if you are starting to feel unsafe about a country that is legalizing drug.)

Cannabis in Thailand Food and Beverage scene today

What kind of Cannabis menu can you find in Thailand? 

Is Am Are restaurant incorporate Cannabis into multiple dishes like omelets, fried fish and salad.

At GTG cafe, they incorporate CBD into various drinks including ice milk tea. You can also get CBD cookies or croissants with CBD-infused butter.

Kiew Kai Ka Cafe serves Thai green curry with cannabis leaves and cannabis leaf salad. The salad has fried cannabis leaves served with Thai-style salad dressing (photo below).

is marijuanna legal in Thailand_spicy pork salad

Ordering cannabis infused snack online

Corona virus outbreak has made dinning out difficult in Thailand, hence many shops are now switching to sell items online. This trend has extended to cannabis and marijuana related F&B. We have tried a couple of cannabis infused snacks and beverages which we delivered on our door step!

Verdict on the question “Is marijuana legal in Thailand?

Based on the Thailand drug law, cultivation and possession of cannabis are still illegal except for medical/research usages. However, there are interests from both the public and FDA to legalize cannabis further in the future.

In 2021, we are starting to see more incorporation of CBD and certain parts of “certified” cannabis into the F&B sector – but that is pretty much all. Another update from 2022 is that government will proactively promote that almost all hospitals in Thailand now have cannabis clinics offering alternative medicine. They are also looking to putting approved medicines with cannabis extracts on the main drug list for the universal coverage scheme available to all people.

Keep a look out for more updates as both private and public sectors are making moves ahead of 2023 when the Thailand drug law is likely going to be revised again.

Check out other relevant posts about Thailand

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Thailand legalize marijuana_plant

When will Thailand legalize marijuana for general usage?

In the past article, we have talked about Thailand’s marijuana laws and their limitations. There have been some developments in Thailand marijuana scene in the past few years. Some observations include more people growing marijuana in the country as well as marijuana-themed menus are introduced in some cafes and restaurants.

This article will look into the timeline, 2022 development, and prospects of Thailand legalizing marijuana.

Table of Contents

Timeline of Thailand's progress in legalizing marijuana

  • 1979: Thailand passed Narcotics Act AD 1979 to replace the original Narcotics Act AD 1922 and Marijuana Act AD 1943. Cannabis fell into the category of a type 5 Narcotics (i.e. illegal) 
  • 2019: Thailand passed the Narcotics Act (No. 7) in 2019 to allow the usage of cannabis for research and medical purposes
  • 2020: FDA announced that cannabis leaf, root, and CBD produced by certified sources are exempted from being part of type 5 Narcotics 
  • 2021: 100+ locations (government agencies and state-registered agricultural communities) have registered to grow cannabis with the FDA
  • 2021: Restaurants and cafes are incorporating certified parts of cannabis into their menus
  • 2022: January 2022 – the Thai government has annouced a plan to remove cannabis from its drug list. This move, once formalized, will allow households to grow cannabis for non-commercial use at home
  • 2022: May 2022 – the government has announced an update which is expected to take effect in June 2022. The update will allow households in Thailand to register to grow cannabis at home through Plook Ganja mobile application
  • 2023: Another amendment of the Narcotics Act might take place in 2023

Growing marijuana in Thailand

There are now more than 100 companies and state-registered agricultural communities that have registered to grow cannabis with the FDA throughout Thailand. Registered households can grow up to 6 cannabis plants while registered companies operate on a larger scale.

In this example, the company is growing almost 1,000 plants. The FDA keeps track of approved locations, and you can see that households and companies are growing cannabis throughout Thailand.

Thailand legalize marijuana_planting locations

The Thai government announced a new project in August 2021 to dedicate 10,000 rai (16 square kilometers) of land area for herb plantation development. The project however, also includes plantation of cannabis and hemp. This project will be developed in the Eastern Economic Corridor located in Chonburi, Rayong and Chasengsao (3 Eastern province in Thailand).

Furthermore, the Thai government has announced a plan to exclude cannabis from its drug list in 2021, allowing households to grow cannabis for non-commercial use. This change however, still needs to be published in the Royal Gazette, after which it will take another 120 days to come into effect.

Thailand legalizing marijuana for the F&B

The FDA is reporting over 5,000 patients who received cannabis as part of their medical treatment each month. However, the general population can only legally consume cannabis at restaurants and cafes that incorporate certified cannabis into their menu.

We are starting to see new cafés that specialize in cannabis and CBS menu like GTG Café. 

Most recently, COCA, a long-standing Thai restaurant brand (since 1957), also introduced a Cannabis menu under “Coca feel good”. In this menu, they incorporate cannabis into main dishes, soups, and desserts (reviews and photos in Thai).

Thailand legalize marijuana_Coca menu

Photo and review from Spoonwalk.

What’s the prospect of Thailand legalize marijuana for more usages?

The answer is we are still unclear on this. Thailand is still very strict and far away from countries like the Netherlands when it comes to marijuana law. There are, however, interests from both the private and public sectors on this.  It would be exciting to see the developments in the coming years ahead of, hopefully, another revision to the Narcotics Act in 2023.

Check out our other posts on Thailand:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Thailand marijuana laws_Cannabis

Legal cannabis F&B menu under Thailand marijuana laws

The topic of marijuana legality in Thailand is a popular topic among all due to the recent update in Thailand marijuana laws. We have covered the topic of “Is marijuana legal in Thailand?” in our previous posts. So what’s new this time? Since we have covered Thailand marijuana law topic before, now we will be sharing our experience trying out some of the legalized cannabis infused products that are now legal in Thailand.

Table of Contents

Thailand marijuana laws: a quick recap

We have already examined Thailand drug law and legalization of marijuana in previous posts. In short, Thailand has now legalized cannabis for medical and research purposes. Additionally, cannabis leaves and roots from FDA-approved sources can be incorporated into cooking. Hence, we are starting to see marijuana-themed menus introduced by many restaurants and cafés in Thailand (which we will try out).

Check out our previous posts on Thailand marijuana laws:

We tried out some marijuana-themed food and beverage menu

Due to the coronavirus outbreak in Thailand, our first tasting experience will go to cannabis-infused cookies and beverages, which we ordered on Facebook. The shop we bought them from is Smile Milk dessert shop in Bangkok.

The process was very simple and convenient. First, you make your order on the Facebook page, then you make payment via a bank transfer and they’ll deliver the products to your doorstep the next day.

Thailand marijuana laws_cannabis take out

What did we try out? We tried their cookies, chrysanthemum tea and honey lemon cannabis tea. 

Are they yummy? Well, the cookies taste like chocolate butter cookies. You can clearly see that they’ve mixed cannabis leaves into the dough before baking. The cookies taste great, and there was no strong smell from cannabis at all.

Thailand marijuana laws_cookie

The honey lemon cannabis tea tasted great but it might be too sweet for some people. Our guess is that they infused the drink with CBD extract directly.

We had chrysanthemum tea with ice after our dinner. It was refreshing on a hot day (it is hot in Thailand every day now during this rainy season in June).

So what’s the verdict? The food and beverages did taste good, and the small presence of cannabis and/or CBD in them did not impact the taste or smell. It was a “relaxing” experience after the consumption – they feel safe to consume without getting stoned. And it goes without saying, we had a good sleep that night.

Overall experience with the cannabis-infused menu

These cannabis-infused products tasted great, and we can tell that the store created a well-thought recipe for these products. 

However, these menus are still pretty “light”, and not comparable to picking up a cannabis-infused brownie or cupcake from a café in Amsterdam, for example.

They will help to make you feel relaxed but nothing more than that. Nonetheless, many operators are experimenting with cannabis menus so we will see more variations in the menu in the future.

Personally, it would be interesting to see if these operators will work with relaxation spa & massage centers in the future to create a totally relaxing experience for the customers. 

Check out our other posts on Thailand:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin