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The Lowdown on Thailand Cannabis Laws

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Welcome to a new era in Thailand, a country rich in culture, history, and natural beauty, now witnessing a budding cannabis scene! The government has recently made significant strides in its legislation, transforming the landscape for weed enthusiasts.

Get on and read this article to know more about the evolving landscape of cannabis in the country—our guide offers essential insights into Thailand's cannabis laws and regulations. If you a resident or a tourist, we'll help you explore the ins and outs of weed, so you can have a safe, enjoyable experience while you're here.

A cannabis stall called Happy Sun in Bangkok
Cannabis pop-up shops in Bangkok

Photo by ThaimaaOpas on Unsplash

Is Cannabis Legal in Thailand?

Thailand has a long and rich history with cannabis or ganja, traditionally used for medicinal and spiritual purposes. However, the 20th century saw the criminalization of cannabis in Thailand as drug policies tightened worldwide. Thailand's cannabis laws, such as Narcotics Act 2522 BE (1979) and The Cannabis Act 2477 BE (1935), criminalized the possession, cultivation, sale, and use of cannabis.

Fast forward to 2018, when the country took a progressive step by legalizing medical cannabis, marking a game-changing moment for many suffering from various ailments. Moreover, Thailand has also decriminalized recreational use under specific circumstances, further opening doors for cannabis enthusiasts.

Since June 9, 2022, the Thai Food and Drug Administration officially removed the cannabis plant from the Category 5 narcotics list. Under the updated regulations, possession, cultivation, distribution, and consumption of all cannabis plant parts are now legal (once again, under certain conditions).

However, cannabis extracts and products, including edibles, food supplements, and cosmetics containing more than 0.2% THC by weight or synthetic THC, remain classified as narcotics. With this information in mind, let's explore what is and isn't allowed under Thailand's cannabis laws for locals and tourists!

What You Can/Can't Do Under Current Thailand Cannabis Laws

Tons of stores nationwide now stock buds, cannabis accessories, and weed-infused goodies. You'll find shops offering weed-flavored dishes and even water. While it's widely available and enjoyed, the legal situation isn't crystal clear.

Various cannabis infused products in a local Bangkok Supermarket
Various cannabis infused products in a local bangkok Supermarket... and no we are not sponsored :)

Possession limits, consumption rules, and cultivation regulations all play a part in maintaining responsible use. However, the government is still currently working on control through broader Thailand cannabis laws, but here's what we know so far. These regulations are also part of a tourist's guide to cannabis in Thailand, released by The Public Health Ministry.

1. What are the current prohibitions?

Just to make it clear, if extracts have over 0.2% THC or if it's synthetic THC, they're not allowed in the market. Possession of extract containing more than that requires permission. In addition, cannabis flower buds contain hallucinogenic compounds, and specific regulations are in place to control their use.

To buy, one must present an ID because the sale of weed is prohibited for those under 20 years old. Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding women cannot use cannabis buds except with a physician's supervision.

2. Where can I buy cannabis in Thailand?

You'll find thousands of Thailand cannabis cafes, shops, and dispensaries where you can buy flowers, rolled joints, CBD oils, edibles, and infused food and beverages. Just make sure you check that they have proper authorization and licensing to sell it.

And if you're looking for cannabis health products, you can find Thai Food and Drug Administration-approved ones through specific channels. Certain products can contain limited amounts of cannabis parts (excluding flower buds), CBD (Cannabidiol), hemp seed oil, and extract. Examples are:

  • Herbal products

  • Rinse-off cosmetics

  • Food and beverages (not intended for babies)

Private clinics, Government hospitals, and pharmacies provide traditional cannabis remedies. To purchase herbal medicines containing cannabis extract, you must get a prescription from a doctor.

3. Can I grow my own weed plant?

Yes, growing cannabis is legal! But if you plan to do it, don't forget to register first. You can use the "Plook Ganja" app from The Food and Drug Administration or visit the government website. This registration process is mandatory to comply with regulations and ensure you cultivate cannabis legally.

4. Who can sell marijuana in Thailand?

Those who want to import, export, sell, store, or use cannabis flower buds for research purposes and further commercial processing must notify the authorities. The process requires disclosing comprehensive information about their controlled herb stock, its origin, and how you will use it.

As classified by the Ministry of Public Health, cannabis flower buds are considered a controlled substance in Thailand. Thus, anyone intending to use them for commercial or research purposes must get authorization from the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine before proceeding.

5. Can I sell weed online?

The sale of cannabis flower buds through vending machines, online platforms, or electronic transactions is illegal. Moreover, specific locations, such as schools, religious establishments, public parks, zoos, theme parks, and dormitories, do not permit the sale of cannabis buds.

6. Is smoking weed in public places in Thailand allowed?

Smoking weed in public places like schools or malls is a big no-no. The Department of Health has issued a notification stating that if you get caught smoking pot for fun out in public, you could end up with a three-month jail sentence, a fine of up to 25,000 baht, or both. So do yourself a favor and keep your smoking sessions legal! Remember, although smoking recreationally is currently legalized, respectful and responsible consumption is expected specially as there are a lot of non-smokers.

7. Do I need a license to smoke weed in Thailand?

You can smoke weed without a license. Of course, that doesn't mean it's totally unrestricted - if you're underage or part of a high-risk group such as pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers, you cannot smoke marijuana. Remember that you can smoke inside your home or in authorized areas, but it's prohibited in public places where it can infringe on other people's space.

8. Are edibles legal?

Only authorized restaurants and shops can offer cannabis-infused dishes or edibles. They have the proper licensing and follow regulations to ensure that the cannabis used in their dishes is legal and safe to consume. Again, it is only legal if it contains not more than 0.2% THC.

Using cannabis flower buds in dishes or food products is strictly prohibited. But don't worry. They can still use other parts of the plant. If you're ordering food that has cannabis in it, the restaurant has to let you know. It is important to note that warnings about cannabis consumption should be given, especially for vulnerable groups like pregnant and breastfeeding women.

9. Can I bring marijuana from other countries to Thailand?

For tourists heading to Thailand, you can't bring any cannabis seeds or plant parts with you. The country only allows domestic plants grown locally to be off the narcotic drug list. So, if you need to import cannabis seeds, you must obtain permission from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

10. Other Important Reminders:

Consuming cannabis affects everyone differently. If you are new to the wonderful world of Ganja, we have a guide series for you. If you experience serious negative health effects after consuming cannabis, see a doctor ASAP. Symptoms that require urgent medical attention include:

  • Heavy heart palpitations

  • Chest pain

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Severe vomiting

  • Passing out

Drinking more water and taking a nap might help with some of the common side effects like

  • Cottonmouth or dry mouth

  • Thirst

  • Feeling tired or dizzy

  • Slight changes in blood pressure

Another important reminder is to avoid driving after consuming any food or health products that contain cannabis. The use of cannabis can impair judgment, motor coordination and slow down your reaction time, making it super dangerous to get behind the wheel. It could hit you anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours after consumption and last up to a full day. So, unless you want to end up in a car wreck, avoid driving altogether after getting your cannabis fix.

Ready to Dive into the Green Scene in Thailand?

That wraps up our guide on the current legal status of cannabis in Thailand. However, it's also crucial to recognize that Thailand's cannabis laws are still evolving, and changes may arise in the future.

Before traveling, educate yourself on local laws and customs, and always act responsibly and respectfully while enjoying cannabis. The land of smiles and green awaits you – just make sure to stay on the right side of the law!

Don't miss out on the latest changes and updates in the Thai cannabis scene. Keep an eye on our website to stay informed and in the know.

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