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Cabinet Approval For Thai Cannabis Ban Expected Later This Month

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Thailand made regional history in 2022 when lawmakers in the Southeastern Asian country implemented a cannabis decriminalization measure. Unfortunately, less than two years after the measure took effect, lawmakers in Thailand are seeking to reverse the policy.

At the time of decriminalization’s enactment, the measure was hailed as an amazing achievement for the global cannabis reform movement, with cannabis being removed from Thailand’s list of banned substances.

The monumental policy shift served as a particularly big deal in the region where Thailand is located, with many countries in the area still having some of the harshest cannabis penalties on earth.

Thailand’s new approach involved permitting every household in the entire country to sign up to legally cultivate low-THC cannabis plants. There were no plant limits for the government’s cultivation program when it launched, and Thailand’s government even gave away over 1 million cannabis seeds directly to households that signed up.

A broad spectrum of government agencies in Thailand agreed leading up to the implementation to do their part to push Thailand’s emerging cannabis industry forward. Thailand also released thousands of people serving time for cannabis offenses.

That all changed in August 2023 when a new prime minister was elected, with the new incumbent vocally opposing cannabis reform. Now, members of Thailand’s Cabinet are expected to approve a cannabis ban later this month. Per excerpts from Al Jazeera:

But the Thai government is looking to stamp out cannabis culture with a ban on its recreational use to be rolled out by the end of the year. Medical use will still be permitted.

In an interview with Reuters last month, Thai Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew described recreational marijuana as a “misuse” of cannabis that has a negative impact on Thai children and could lead to other drug abuses.