Thailand plans cannabis law rewrite to allow only medical sales

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Thailand’s new prime minister said the Southeast Asian country plans to rewrite its cannabis laws to allow only medical use, a move that would halt widespread recreational sales and fundamentally alter the industry.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who was elected in August, said there is a need to “rewrite the law” to stop adult-use sales from occurring.

“The problem about drugs has been widespread lately,” he said in the interview.

He said his government would “rectify” the country’s cannabis policies and allow only medical use as part of a “middle ground” solution.

Thailand decriminalized cannabis about a year ago but failed to immediately implement comprehensive regulations and enforcement mechanisms to restrict what would be sold and where.

Thousands of stores opened in an ensuing regulatory vacuum, promoting politicians to pledge to address the issue.

In 2022, Thai Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said Thailand’s decriminalization of cannabis did not amount to full legalization and the sale of recreational marijuana was still not permitted.

The new prime minister said there was already a consensus among Thailand’s 11 parties on the plan to rewrite the country’s cannabis laws.