Thailand’s cannabis industry, which has flourished since the decriminalization of cannabis, faces uncertainty due to the government’s considerations of re-regulating the plant, potentially restricting its use to medical purposes only.
Under the proposed changes, the government aims to limit the use of cannabis for medical and health-related purposes, marking a shift from the prior legislation that allowed broader usage of the plant. Since the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes in June 2022, a recreational cannabis industry has emerged in the absence of specific laws governing its cultivation and sale.
Thailand’s move to revise its cannabis laws comes after becoming the first country in Southeast Asia to decriminalize cannabis in 2022, leading to the establishment of numerous marijuana-related shops nationwide. However, the current administration’s focus on regulating cannabis solely for medical use has raised concerns among cannabis vendors, who worry about the potential impact on their businesses.
While some in the industry advocate for responsible access to cannabis, there are concerns that stricter regulations and the classification of cannabis as a medical product could favor larger corporations and disrupt the livelihoods of many involved in the cannabis business. Additionally, there are fears that reclassifying cannabis could drive underground recreational use and potentially harm the country’s growing cannabis industry.
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