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Thailand Committee Votes To Reclassify Cannabis As A Narcotic Effective January 1st

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The wild cannabis public policy ride continues in Thailand where a key committee voted this week to officially reclassify cannabis and hemp as a narcotic in the country. Thailand adopted a historic cannabis reform measure in June 2022 that removed cannabis from the nation’s narcotics list.

Starting January 1st, 2025, cannabis will be reclassified as a narcotic in Thailand according to the committee-approved plan, and not just cannabis varieties that are high in THC. Even floral hemp that is low in THC will be classified as a narcotic in Thailand. Per excerpts from Bangkok Post:

The resolution stated that cannabis and hemp are to be regarded as narcotic plants except for their branches, roots and seeds. Cannabis buds and any materials containing more than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will also be classified as narcotics.

“If the Office of the Narcotic Control Board agrees with our conclusion, the next step will be for the Food and Drug Administration to amend any cannabis-related laws and set up criteria for how the plants can be used.

The potential law reversal in Thailand comes at a time when cannabis policy modernization efforts are gaining momentum in other parts of the world. The first provisions of Germany’s adult-use legalization law took effect on April 1st, 2024, and South Africa recently adopted a limited recreational cannabis legalization measure the following month.

In addition to Germany and South Africa, cannabis is also legal for adult use in Uruguay (2013), Canada (2018), Malta (2021), and Luxembourg (2023). Regional adult-use cannabis commerce pilot trials are operating in the Netherlands and Switzerland, and nearly half of the states in the U.S. have approved recreational cannabis legalization measures.

Thailand’s expected policy change serves as a sobering reminder to cannabis advocates around the world that there is still a considerable amount of work to do in order to not only ensure that harmful cannabis prohibition policies are eliminated, but also, that the policy changes remain in place.