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What you need to know about cannabis in Thailand

Published Apr 15, 2023 01:00 p.m. ET
Unsplash / Esteban López 

Thailand legalized cannabis in 2018 for medical use and research purposes making it the first Asian nation to make this historical shift toward acceptance. Here recreational use has been decriminalized, but there is still some legal risk for those who are caught using, possessing, cultivating, or selling it. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most important things you should know about cannabis in Thailand.

Growing cannabis in Thailand

Cultivating cannabis is a highly regulated practice in Thailand and only those with licenses may legally grow it for medical or research purposes. Anyone caught growing cannabis without a license may still be fined or even imprisoned in this country.

Possession of cannabis in Thailand

In Thailand, medical patients with a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider may possess only the amount of cannabis prescribed to them. Anyone else who is caught with cannabis may face fines or jail time, so it is important to be careful if you’re a recreational consumer here.

Minimum age for cannabis use in Thailand

The minimum age for using cannabis for medical purposes in Thailand is 20 years old.

Buying limits for cannabis in Thailand

There are currently no buying limits for medical cannabis patients in Thailand. However, the sale of cannabis for recreational purposes is still highly illegal here and punishable by fines or imprisonment. In 2022, cannabis stores officially opened across the nation, but they are only accessible to those who possess a medical license.

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Public consumption of cannabis in Thailand

Smoke, vaping, or using cannabis in any other form in public places is still illegal in this country, and anyone caught doing so may face fines or jail time. Driving while under the influence is also illegal, and that is true even for patients who hold a current medical license.

Medical licenses for cannabis in Thailand

This nation boasts a medical cannabis program where patients with specific medical conditions may be approved to use cannabis. However, those who wish to participate in the program must first obtain a medical cannabis card from a licensed physician who is legally certified to prescribe it.

Border rules for cannabis in Thailand

It is still illegal to bring cannabis into Thailand, even if you’re a medical patient with a valid license or card from another country. Those who are caught taking cannabis into the country may face consequences ranging from fines to jail time, so the risk is never worth it.

Though cannabis in Thailand is now legal for medicinal use, this country still maintains strict rules and regulations around where it may be used, how much someone can have in their possession, and where it may be purchased. Breaking those restrictions remains a serious crime, so it’s best to follow the laws here, especially if you’re traveling for either leisure or business, as visitors have fewer rights than they would in their home country.

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