Thailand gives the go-ahead for home-grown cannabis cultivation

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BANGKOK- Thailand’s narcotics board announced on Tuesday (Jan 25) that it would remove cannabis from its drug list, allowing households to grow the plant.
Thailand was the first Southeast Asian country to legalize marijuana for medical use and research in 2018.

People can grow cannabis plants at home after alerting their local government, but the cannabis cannot be utilized for commercial purposes without further licenses, according to Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

Before home cannabis plants become legal, the rule must be published in the official Royal Gazette for 120 days.

Meanwhile, the health ministry will bring to parliament this week a second draft bill that defines the legal use of cannabis, including its manufacturing and commercial use, as well as standards for recreational use.

Paisal Dankhum, the chief of the food and drug regulator, has previously stated that homegrown cannabis should be used for medical purposes similar to traditional medication, and that random inspections would take place.

The proposed bill imposes a fine of up to 20,000 baht (S$815.70) for growing cannabis without alerting the government, and a fine of up to 300,000 baht or three years in prison, or both, for selling it without a license.

This is the next stage in Thailand’s strategy to promote cannabis as a cash crop. According to the World Bank, agriculture employs roughly one-third of its workforce.

Thai beverage and cosmetics businesses rushed to market items containing hemp and CBD, a non-intoxicating chemical, after their usage in consumer goods was legalized last year.

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