English Summary:

Cannabis is scheduled to be removed from the Category 5 narcotic list this Thursday June 9. It will allow Thai people to grow unlimited amount of cannabis plants at home. However, extracting more than 0.2% of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for consumption is still illegal. In this article, we answer some of the questions people may have on what to do and not to do once cannabis consumption becomes legal in Thailand.   

Q: Why has Cannabis been removed from the Category 5 narcotic?

A: Nowadays, there are medical and scientific studies found that cannabis could be helpful for disease treatment, but the quantity must be appropriated following the medical instruction by doctors, pharmacists, and specialists. Apart from Thailand, many countries have begun to remove cannabis from the list of narcotics under the same reason. Therefore, Thai law has been amended to be in the line with the new research that has been found. 

Q: Is growing cannabis plants at home legal? 

A: From June 9th, 2022, onwards, the public can grow cannabis plants for consuming at home legally with unlimited size of growing 

Q: What is different between Hemp and Cannabis? 

A: Between Hemp and Cannabis, they are different kind of plant although they look quite similar, but they are the same species. Their differences are at leaves. The leaves of hemp are slender, arranging in bigger gap with 7-11 lobes roughly, and the stems are taller and slender. While the leaves of cannabis are thicker, arranging closer with 5-7 lobes roughly, and the stems are shorter and bushier.

Another difference between them is their flower. When the flower of cannabis was extracted or THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the amount could be as high as 1-20%. Whereas, the hemp flower contains less, (it could be less than 1% extracted). This substance has properties to reduce pain, nausea and in therapy helping to get relaxing. However, the amount must be appropriated to be used, as if it was used in too much quantity, it may be caused to intoxication.

Nevertheless, the flower of hemp is more effective than cannabis for extracting CBD (Cannabidiol), that has not reflected to intoxication as THC, but it is helpful to relieve pain and inflammation. We can extract more than 2% of this substance from the hemp flower, and less than 2% in cannabis.

Lastly, cannabis extracts are popular for medicinal purposes, there are many agriculturists trend to make fabric fiber by hemp because it can be produced more quantity than growing cotton plant and less cost of pesticide. 

Q: How can we grow cannabis at home legally? 

A: From June 9th, 2022, onwards, the public who prefer to grow cannabis can register through the website: http://plookganja.fda.moph.go.th/ or the application: “cannabis cultivation” under the Ministry of Public Health. The one who would like to register would be requested by the ministry to provide only ID number, address, and purpose of planting. Once the registration approved, the ministry will send an electronic verification to the one who sent the request. This part is the last step that the registration has been completed.

Q: Can we only consume only cannabis leaves? Can we also consume cannabis flowers?

A: From June 9th, 2022, onwards, the public can consume both cannabis leaves and flowers for household purpose at home, but they must not be caused to trouble or smell disturbing the neighbors or others. The quantity of cannabis can be unlimited consuming, whereas the extraction of flowers for recreational purpose must not contain over 0.2% of THC and the officials can randomly investigate in case they wonder if the quantity may be excess. If the quantity exceeds, this will be considered as a drug. To consume cannabis with more than 0.2%THC legally, must be guaranteed by the consent of a physician as a medicinal purpose, not for recreational. With this, the official can ask for checking the documents any time.

Q: Is any law regulation to control the quantity of cannabis flower consumption? 

A: Currently, the law restricts consumption of cannabis flower extracts to not contain over 0.2% of THC, the portion that excess will be considered as toxic substance. However, if it was consumed for medicinal purposes that must be supported by document which was issued by doctors. The document must be indicated that the cannabis flower extract can be consumed more than 0.2%. 

Q: Can we extract the cannabis flower by ourselves? 

A: Yes, we can. With the new law, people are allowed to extract substances from the cannabis flower by themselves. However, the recreational purpose of cannabis flower extract which is containing more than 0.2% of THC is illegal, unless only licensed healthcare professionals can extract the substance from the cannabis flower in amount greater than 0.2% of THC.

Q: Can we consume cannabis outside the home? Is it the same as regular smoking? 

A: The council is currently considering a regulation of law relating to recreational consuming of cannabis. With this, the people who are not felling comfortable with the smell of cannabis in public areas, they can file a complaint against the cannabis consumers or famers. Any consumers or farmers who were found to have done the guilty, they will be liable to imprisonment for three years, a fine of 25,000 baht, or both. Nevertheless, the cannabis consuming does not address restrictions on places. Therefore, if anyone who were to smoke cannabis in public, they can do it possibly, but they must do it in a smoking area or the place that not disturbing the public. 







About the writer:

Thanaphon Raomanachai (Mike), 

Fact-Checker and the columnist of Cofact Thailand

Present: Guest Speaker of review of news information and digital tool for Google News Initiative 

Previous: A technology news anchor of Voice TV and a former board member of the Foreign Correspondents Association in Thailand (FCCT) https://www.damikemedia.com