Public Health Minister Discusses Cannabis Reclassification Amidst Strong Public Support

National —

On June 26th, 2024, Public Health Minister Somsak Thepsuthin discussed the potential reclassification of cannabis as a type 5 narcotic after opening the proposal for public consultation from June 11th to 25th.

This follows a public consultation period from June 11th to 25th, during which around 100,000 people participated, with more than 80% of people allegedly supporting the reclassification, said Somsak.
Addressing concerns about the draft announcement not specifying “domestically produced” cannabis, Somsak explained that subsequent ministerial regulations would follow to clarify what this means.

The draft, approved by the Narcotics Control Board (NCB), is a preliminary measure to address ongoing issues with recreational use, with detailed regulations to be developed through additional legislation, said Somsak.
Regarding the potential importation of non-narcotic cannabis parts, Somsak clarified that the intention is not to permit such imports. However, the final decision rests with the NCB.

He also noted the exclusion of cannabis and hemp seeds from the narcotic list, emphasizing the need to align with international standards.
Somsak stated that medical cannabis falls under ministerial regulations and that the government’s policy supports cannabis for medical, health, and economic purposes. The NCB will draft further announcements in due course.
“After closing the public consultation, the NCB will review the feedback from over 100,000 participants. The final draft will then be submitted to the NCB, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. If approved, it will be sent to the Public Health Minister for signing, followed by additional announcements,” Somsak explained.
Somsak mentioned that the review might take about 30 days, with the NCB meeting monthly. It is possible, notes TPN Media, that Anutin, who heads the narcotics committee and was responsible for the decriminalization of cannabis, may have concerns with the relisting of the plant as a narcotic and may want certain guarantees around the ease of obtaining permission for medical use or a business getting a medical sales and growing license.
In response to the “Shaping the Future of Thai Cannabis” network’s planned demonstration on July 8th, 2024, at Government House, Somsak said he is open to discussions. Somsak claimed that most cannabis business operators have no issues with the proposal as their focus is medical sales and use, while recreational users might face challenges. The government’s stance is against all recreational use, remarked Somsak.

Read our related articles:

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Thai Deputy Government Spokesman Warns Against Reclassifying Cannabis as Narcotic, Cites Public Harm.

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.