The Thai government on Tuesday approved a proposal from the Ministry of Health to allow health professionals, farmers, and patients to grow, produce and export medical cannabis and its derivatives.
Thailand legalized medical cannabis and kratom in 2018. Since then, it has opened access to medical cannabis while preserving its sovereignty over the subject by entrusting only cannabis production to local actors, who work in part with local varieties. A new law still under consideration would nevertheless allow foreign companies to work in Thailand, provided they own less than 1/3 of the company.
Deputy government spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul said that Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul had submitted a draft amendment to the Narcotics Law to expand access to medical cannabis in Thailand.
The draft amendment would allow medically certified patients, as well as farmers and traditional medical professionals, to receive authorization from the department to produce, import, export, distribute and possess cannabis, she said.
This law promotes our industry and will increase its competitiveness, which will be important for Thailand in becoming a leader in medical cannabis, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul also said.
The current law only allows government units and those involved in the development of medical cannabis with the permission of the Ministry to engage in activities related to medical cannabis in collaboration with the government.
Thailand has removed low THC cannabis extracts from its list of narcotic drugs and opened medical cannabis clinics, while allowing all doctors, including traditional doctors, who have a strong presence in Thailand, to prescribe cannabis. For the time being, production is still below demand, hence the opening up of production to others.
The bill also makes the Ministry of Public Health responsible for using the seized cannabis for medical purposes. The draft needs to pass to the Council of State for consideration and then to Parliament for a vote.