Health dept issues guidelines on use of cannabis as food additive

TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2022

In a bid to protect consumers from adverse effects and control the use of cannabis in food products, the Department of Health issued new guidelines on Monday.

According to the guidelines, food business operators, including markets, restaurants and outlets, are required to:

• Clearly display that cannabis is being used as an additive.

• Display a list of dishes that include cannabis.

• Display the number of cannabis leaves used in each dish. Under the law, chefs are only allowed to use one leaf for a serving of stir-fries, curries, soups and beverages, and up to two for fried foods.

• Clearly display safety recommendations on consuming food or beverage with cannabis as an additive.

• Clearly display that food with cannabis cannot be consumed by children aged 18 and below and pregnant women. It should also advise people to stop consumption in case of reaction or allergy to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and people should avoid driving or operating machines.

• Do not display information about cannabis’s potential benefits in treating diseases.

Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul insisted that cannabis has been legalised for medical use and manufacturing of healthcare products only, not for recreational use.

He added that the ministry is ready to listen to people’s comments if they are worried that the plant may be misused.

“The ministry has been making its objective and intentions on the legalisation of cannabis clear over the past three years,” he said. “The ministry has also provided clear information on the correct use of cannabis.”

He said the Food and Drug Administration has launched the “Plookgangja” website and app to provide people with information on cannabis and hemp. People can also register via the website or app for permission to cultivate the plant.

He added that the ministry will accelerate its work on building awareness among public healthcare units so they can provide correct information to people.