Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Clock ticking for unregistered medical cannabis users

May 12. 2019
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By The Nation

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Unregistered medical cannabis users have been urged to urgently declare cannabinoid medicines in their possession and register as a medical cannabis-users with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before the May 21 deadline.

As the amnesty period for the use of cannabis for medical treatment will expire in nine days, FDA secretary-general Dr Thares Karasnairaviwong revealed that only around 10,000 medical cannabis users had registered with Public Health Ministry, while many more had not turned up for the compulsory registration. 

Thares stressed that unregistered patients, who had been using cannabinoid medicines, were required to register themselves with the authorities and declare their cannabinoid medicines before the end of the amnesty period, or they could be prosecuted for illegal use of cannabis, as the current narcotics law regards cannabis an illicit drug.

He also said that the Public Health Ministry had assigned the FDA office in Bangkok and Public Health Offices in each province, which are the responsible agencies for medical cannabis registration, to extend their working hours and arrange offsite registration stations where possible in order to facilitate registration closer to the deadline.

“I would like to urge all the remaining unregistered patients, who are relying on cannabinoid medicines, to register their medical cannabis use as soon as possible, so that they can obtain legal permission to use cannabis to treat their illnesses,” he said.

“The registration process is simple; they only have to bring their ID, medical certificate that certifies their need for cannabinoid medicines, and evidence or documents of their possessing cannabinoid medicines to register for permission.”

Thares also emphasised that rumours of registered patients being allowed to grow their own cannabis in their homes is not true, as registered patients can possess only a reasonable amount of medical cannabis and can use it only for medical treatment.

“Individual farmers are not allowed to grow cannabis, because under the current law only the registered community enterprises, social enterprises and agricultural cooperatives that officially cooperate with the official agencies or academic institutes on medical cannabis research and development can grow cannabis,” he said.

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