The walk-backs have begun for the unrestricted cannabis swell in Thailand. In a new edict coming into effect today, the Ministry of Public Health has tightened the rules on who can grow and sell cannabis, and where. The new edict, already published in the Royal Gazette making it official, now supersedes the original announcement legalising and decriminalising cannabis on June 16.
When cannabis was decriminalised, it was done without any regulation or structure, aside from website signup to license over a million people to grow, distribute and sell, causing prices to plummet. Over time, small rules were put into place to bar it from government property and officials, and prevent children and pregnant women from using it.
The new edict reinforces some of those regulations, making it illegal to sell any form of cannabis to pregnant or breastfeeding women, people under 20 years old, and students. But it also limits where it can be sold and smoked.
According to Thai PBS World, smoking cannabis at any business location is now strictly forbidden as is advertising the plant in any form for commercial use.
Cannabis can not be sold in any business to be consumed in that business. The only exception is for medical usage, and that must be sold and administered by a medical practitioner, certified rural medic, or traditional medical practitioner. The Bhumjaithai Party that pushed so hard for the legalisation of the herb has since backtracked on their support and claimed that they only ever intended legal cannabis to be used for medicinal purposes.
Other places now forbidden for the sale of cannabis include temples or other places of worship, public parks, and amusement parks. Hostels were also particularly singled out, though it is unclear if the ganja ban also applies to hotels. In popular tourist areas, hostels and hotels named and themed entirely based on cannabis have cropped up, in the last six months. Now it seems those places may be in legal peril.
The new regulations will now classify the cannabis flower bud (but not other parts of the plant) as a controlled herb. Rules will apply and an official permit must be applied for and received before it can be used for any commercial purpose. Permitting will also be required for exporting, processing, studying or researching cannabis.