Thai Health Minister Outlines Plan to Reclassify Cannabis Flowers as Type 5 Narcotic by End of 2024

PHOTO: Prachachat


On May 23rd, 2024, Mr. Somsak Thepsuthin, the Thai Minister of Public Health, addressed the national media regarding the Prime Minister’s proposal to reclassify cannabis flowers as a type 5 narcotic illegal drug.

The government aims to leverage cannabis for only medical and health purposes to generate economic value. The proposal process is expected to be concluded by the end of 2024.

According to Mr. Somsak, drafting the necessary legislation will involve two subordinate laws. The first law, announced by the Ministry of Public Health, will designate “the cannabis plant” as a type 5 narcotic under the Narcotics Code, excluding certain parts: leaves, branches, roots, stems, and seeds. Essentially, this will only make the flowers, or buds, the illegal narcotic portion.

Hemp will not be made an illegal narcotic again, added Somsak. This also means CBD will not be an illegal narcotic.

The second law will outline regulations for growing, possessing, importing, exporting, or using cannabis.

The drafting of these laws must align with current Thai laws and government policy. Mr. Somsak emphasized that the laws must clearly define goals and content for further proceedings.

The proposed subordinate bill includes three main objectives:

  1. Cannabis cultivation, possession, import, export, or consumption must be strictly for medical purposes, patient treatment, research, or similar uses, not for recreational purposes.
  2. The qualification process for granting cannabis use permissions must be clear, proportionate, and compliant with regulations.
  3. Ministerial regulations must be announced to the public in advance, allowing time for citizens and cannabis users to adapt and comply.

Somsak stated that the processes would not be too obtuse or difficult for current genuine medical cannabis dispensaries and shops and shouldn’t disrupt things for users who truly need cannabis for medical reasons.

Meanwhile, pro-cannabis activists continue to protest making cannabis buds an illegal narcotic and hope to compromise with the Minister of Public Health before any final laws, instead calling for better regulations.

This article originally appeared on our sister website The Pattaya News.

Kittisak Phalaharn
Kittisak has a passion for outgoings no matter how tough it will be, he will travel with an adventurous style. As for his interests in fantasy, detective genres in novels and sports science books are parts of his soul. He works for Pattaya News as the latest writer.