By / March 2, 2023

Thailand Is Still Struggling To Agree on Cannabis Legalization Laws

Will the parliament in Thailand run out of time to pass its cannabis legalization? The country’s lawmakers remain divided on key provisions of the legislation, leaving Thailand’s cannabis industry in a gray area.

To follow the latest updates in this ongoing story, along with all the latest in cannabis legalization from around the world, download our free cannabis news app.

Disagreements in Thailand

The House of Representatives in Thailand failed to conclude the second reading of the bill, the last session devoted to studying the proposed legalization of cannabis in Thailand before the parliamentary recess.

The delay was caused by some factions of lawmakers who argued that the Thai cannabis bill did not go far enough to disincentivize recreational cannabis use and called for the plant to be re-listed as a narcotic.

With Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha planning to dissolve parliament next month before elections in May, the bill’s fate will depend on the next government. A bill must pass a majority of MPs in three readings before being submitted to the Senate for approval to become law.

Ransom of the Vanguard

Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalize cannabis last year by removing the plant from the list of narcotics. Officially, only medical use is legal and recreational use cannot be punished, with a few conditions (no children present, no sale without a license) and without being legally regulated.

This decriminalization of cannabis in Thailand has led to a proliferation of dispensaries selling all sorts of cannabis products, which gives a glimpse of what was already available on the black market despite a previous very firm policy in the country.

Growing concerns about the impact of legalization on young people in Thailand have also threatened to undermine an industry estimated to be worth more than €1 billion by 2025.

Thailand Sees Political Divide

Cannabis liberalization has divided Thailand’s political parties, with the Bhumjaithai Party, led by Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, spearheading the widespread use and cultivation of the plant by households in Thailand. Many opposition parties and the Democratic Party, a ruling coalition member, want to reverse the decriminalization.

“It is clear that the bill will not pass in this session. So we will resubmit the cannabis bill to the next parliament,” said Supachai Jaisamut, a Bhumjaithai Party lawmaker. “People who do not want cannabis to be criminalized again should vote for Bhumjaithai.”

Government Claims Decriminalization in Thailand Was Not for Recreational Use

The government has repeatedly said that the June decriminalization of cannabis in Thailand was aimed at the medical and commercial use of cannabis rather than recreational purposes. However, the bill did not go so far as to ban recreational smoking explicitly.

According to Supachai, the cannabis rules issued by the Department of Health are sufficient to control the industry in Thailand for now. These rules include restrictions on unpleasant odors in public, sales to pregnant women or people under 20, and commercial advertising.

(Featured image by Florian Wehde via Unsplash)

DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third-party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of, its management, staff, or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.

This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.

First published in Newsweed, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.

Comments are closed for this post.