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Thailand: Cannabis off the Narcotics List

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Thailand's Ministry of Public Health announced Tuesday that it has approved the removal of cannabis from the narcotics list. The move comes a month before the meeting of the 63rd Session of the United Nations Commission on Drugs and Narcotics, taking place from 2 to 6 March in Vienna.

The measure was approved by ministerial regulation, said deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisaranakul. The regulation states that researchers are in a position to conduct research into the effects of cannabis on medicines, cosmetics and the plant in its natural state, in accordance with Thai government policy.  The measure aims, above all, to increase the competitiveness of the country's production, Traisulee told TheNation: “Preliminarily, this regulation allows the cultivation of cannabis plants by individuals and companies, subject to the conditions of trade and possession”.

Traisulee also made it known that according to the regulation “cannabis plants can be grown in a maximum of one Rai per family” (1 Rai = 1600 square meters), adding that “producers must be licensed and cultivate only the species specified in the new regulation”.

UN to reclassify cannabis on Narcotics list

The 63rd Session of the United Nations Commission on Drugs and Narcotics, taking place 2-6 March in Vienna will review the status of cannabis on the narcotics list. In the provisional agenda for the session, point 5(a) will discuss substance control, namely the recommendations concerning the listing of cannabis and related substances in the tables of controlled substances.

Dr. Ganja: Mascot demystifies cannabis in Thailand

The presentation of this new regulation was not the only novelty on the part of the Ministry of Health of Thailand, which presented the Dr. ganja. This is a green plush toy to help educate the Thai population about the benefits of medical cannabis. The Doctor. Ganja also represents the symbolism of the recent implementation of medical cannabis in Thailand.

Statistics show that this new industry could, by 2024, expand to more than 660 million US Dollars. The numbers and economic potential are reason to convince Thai Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who is one of the biggest leaders and supporters of the pro-cannabis movement for medical regulation. It is against this backdrop that the deputy minister plans to add cannabis plantations and processing facilities. Plans also include scaling up local hospitals to become leaders in medical cannabis. 

Thanaporn Pornsangakul, a scientist at the Center for Plant Development by Plern, is responsible for growing and supplying medical cannabis plants for Buriram's only internationally accredited hospital. “There are a lot of people interested in growing cannabis.”

The Thai government invested 100 million baht (US$3,3 million) in the first indoor growing facility. It was inaugurated last year, in addition to 12.000 seedlings of cannabis plants, said the consultants Prohibition Partners. "O The plan to prepare one million bottles of cannabis oil by February 2020 shows ambition on the part of the Thai government,” added the consultant.

“Thailand has proven to be a leader in drug law reform among Asian countries, especially in relation to medical cannabis,” said Barbara Pastori, director of consultancy at Prohibition Partners. “This is likely to be the case for recreational cannabis as well, particularly if there is a strong political will to do so.”

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[…] life and even death penalty for cannabis traffickers. After neighboring Thailand removed cannabis from the narcotics list, legalizing medicinal purposes and including self-cultivation of up to six plants per family, […]

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