By LeeWEpstein

January 31, 2020

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health announced on Tuesday that the Cabinet had agreed to remove cannabis from the list of narcotic drugs. The decision was approved and published in the new Ministry of Public Health regulations.

Firstly, this regulation allows the cultivation of hemp seedlings by individuals and companies, subject to meeting the conditions of trade and possession, said Traisulee Traisaranakul, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health.

“The regulation also stipulates that hemp seedlings can be grown in a maximum of one rai per household,” which is 1600m², adding that “growers must be licensed and grow only the species specified in the new regulation. This restriction goes for plants with -0.3% THC.

The regulation also stipulates that research will be conducted to determine the place of cannabis in medicines or non-therapeutic products in line with the government’s policy of both meeting the needs of patients and providing a new competitive sector for the country.

The country had already removed low-THC hemp extracts from the list of narcotic drugs last September.

However, full market access will take years to achieve

In a recent report, however an Austrian analyst, estimates that the industry will not be fully deployed until 2024. By then, Thailand could develop a market worth between 46 and 312 million.

In addition to a local market, Thailand could develop a tourist market for medical cannabis, export medical cannabis to surrounding countries and develop many cannabis-related products (innovations, technologies, IT…) that could add 1.5 billion euros to the cannabis market alone.

However, the current demand for cannabis is quite strong, unlike the supply, which currently lacks adequate infrastructure. A fully specialized cannabis clinic has recently been launched but lacks, for example, qualified medical staff trained in the prescription and monitoring of cannabis-based treatments.

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