Thailand Takes Steps Towards Legal Use of Medicinal Marijuana

Mar 2019

The government of Thailand has been taking steps towards the legal use of marijuana, following the proposal of amendments in October 2018 that would legalize marijuana production and establish licenses for possession and distribution. Recreational use still remains illegal. 

Regulations from the Ministry of Health legalizing possession of marijuana for Medical, research and other purposes were published in the Royal Gazette in late February. They covered possession by patients who need marijuana for the treatment of the illness, and the criteria for legal possession by governmental organizations, professionals, private universities, farm community-based enterprises, international transport operators and patients travelling internationally.

Subsequently a 90-day registration period for legal possession of marijuana was opened, which will end on 19 May. Registration can be done at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) office in Bangkok and also at provincial health offices.

Meanwhile, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) opened Thailand’s first legal cannabis plantation on 27 February as the first step towards developing Thailand’s own patented cannabis medicines. The plantation facility built with an investment of THB 100 million (USD 3.2 million) is equipped with advanced hi-tech closed-system aeroponics farming technology, which will ensure the crops meet the high Medical-grade standard required to manufacture medicine from the plants.

Output from this facility will be used to produce cannabis oil which will be tested on selected patients, possibly by July. Extracts or “sublingual drops” will be administered to patients suffering from nausea and pain from chemotherapy, among other ailments.

(Sources: Chiang Rai Times; Straits Times: Channel NewsAsia; Thaivisa News)

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