New handbook on marijuana consumption for tourists in Thailand
The Public Health Ministry has come up with a guide called “10 Things Tourists Need to Know about Cannabis in Thailand” to help clarify doubts over the newly decriminalised plant.
The English-language guide is necessary as Thailand is the first Asian country to legalise marijuana and will attract foreigners interested in consuming cannabis-related products, the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary Dr Narong Apikulwanich said on Tuesday.
The guide has been published on www.moph.go.th, while authorities in tourist provinces have also been instructed to publish handbooks for tourists. The handbook will soon be translated into other languages, including Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Russian.
The 10 things tourists need to know about cannabis in Thailand are:
• Transporting seeds or parts of the cannabis plant to or from Thailand is not permitted.
• Cultivation of cannabis is legal provided growers register on the Food and Drug Administration’s Plook Ganja application or via a relevant government website.
• Using cannabis flower buds for research, export, sale or processing for commercial purposes requires official permission.
• Cannabis cannot be consumed by people under the age of 20, pregnant or breastfeeding women except under the supervision of health professionals.
• Possession of extracts containing more than 0.2% THC and synthetic THC requires permission.
• Cannabis in food is only available in authorised restaurants.
• Approved cannabis health products are accessible through specific channels.
• Smoking cannabis in public places, including schools and shopping malls, is illegal.
• Avoid driving after consuming food or products containing cannabis.
• Those who have a bad reaction to cannabis are advised to immediately see the doctor for treatment.
“The ministry allows the use of cannabis and hemp for medical and research purposes, but still prohibits recreational use,” Narong said.
He added that while the Cannabis and Hemp Act is being considered, the ministry has issued several regulations to control the use of cannabis and hemp to ensure public safety and prevent abuse.
Examples of these regulations are mandatory registration for the use of cannabis buds and flowers in products, classifying cannabis smell and smoke as a public nuisance and mandating that food vendors using the former narcotic as an ingredient notify consumers in writing.
The Cannabis and Hemp Act which regulates the use, cultivation, sale and import of cannabis and hemp is currently being considered in Parliament.