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What you can and can’t do with cannabis in Thailand

Published Jul 25, 2022 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / bloodua

Thailand is officially the first nation in Asia to decriminalize cannabis, a move that excites entrepreneurs and business owners who were previously limited to CBD-infused offerings, but what exactly does that mean for enthusiasts and cannabis tourists? People who are facing cannabis-related charges can now rest easy, as they’re being dropped as a result of this shift towards decriminalization but what can you really do with cannabis in Thailand, and will there be different rules for visitors? Well, we found out just how impressive and restrictive this change truly is.

Is weed legal in Thailand

Thai governments chose to embrace cannabis with a unique approach of decriminalization rather than outright legalization, in hopes of reducing the number of people who seek out these plant products for recreational use.

Growing and trading cannabis or hemp products

Thai farmers and medical consumers may now trade and grow cannabis or hemp products and Thailand is giving away 1 million cannabis plants to get residents excited about this amazing new change. It’s a move that’s sure to bolster both agriculture and tourism in the area, but there still lies some challenges ahead for those who hope to light up for recreational purposes.

Recreational use is still prohibited

Sadly, if you were hoping to come to Thailand as a tourist, or excited about getting high for the first time as a resident, the act will be no easy feat, as recreational consumption is not yet allowed according to law. Smoking in public places is also prohibited, forcing those who do wish to indulge this way to find a private home or property to partake. However, THC isn’t banned completely, though it’s not exactly encouraged or allowed in high concentrations.

High potency products are banned

Any cannabis grown or sold in Thailand must be below the current threshold of 0.2% THC, as this psychoactive compound is still viewed as a recreational addition according to the law. The same rule applies to extracts, and anyone found attempting to breach this limit may be subject to fines or even jail time.

Enjoy edibles and drinks

Final Bell

A small selection of cannabis drinks is already available on the market in Thailand, with the majority served at fine dining restaurants. Edibles may also stand alongside infused beverages on restaurant menus, but they must also contain less than 0.2% THC.

Access cannabis clinics

Cannabis clinics are already in the works in Thailand, as they are the only way to receive approval to consume cannabinoid-laden products here. This is excellent news for residents, in particular those who’ve been waiting for the opportunity to be open about their medicine choice, but it’s still unclear how the system is going to work for those who travel to Thailand to take part in cannabis tourism.

Travellers beware

The Thai government has promised that there will soon be a system in place through cannabis clinics to serve the needs of tourists. Unfortunately, we still don’t know what that process entails, which is why it might be best for 420-friendly adventurers to hold off on planning a vacation to this beautiful place just yet.

How local businesses are taking the news

Restaurant and clinic owners are excited to see a slew of new consumers through their doors, a rush that’s likely to begin as the region moves away from the pandemic and towards an economic recovery strategy. Meat and seafood producers are already showing an interest in creating cannabis-infused foods, and local farmers are more than happy to cash in on this hot, new opportunity to hop into such an exotic industry.

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