Weed has been around Thailand since the early 1900s, but who’s to say it has always been there legally? While aiming for its positive attributes of providing ease and comfort to those struggling with medical illnesses, it’s not right to say weed is only there for such.
Many youngsters quickly question whether it is legal to smoke weed before planning their entertaining getaway trip. Thailand is a rare example of a region that just recently adapted to new laws concerning the use of marijuana.
Alongside its therapeutic purpose, Thailand became the first country in Asia to announce the legalization of weed on June 9, 2022. However, the substance is only legal under the factors: it should be grown under a government license, contain less than 0.2% THC levels, and must not be smoked in public.
Since 2018, Thailand has been keen on developing its wellness industry, including its tremendous responsibilities to pave the way for a healthier economy that favors cannabis production in the country.
Even then, smoking pot in public is still somewhat of a taboo subject nationwide, leading to consequences worth keeping in mind.
Is Weed Legal in Thailand?
Thailand’s health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, confirmed the legalization of weed on June 9th, emphasizing the importance of the project in giving away a million cannabis plants to households across the country. (Source)
Pave no concern, the after-effects of decriminalization also came with safety precautions such as restrictions for people under 20 years of age, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women.
Also, there is still a significant limitation on the use of marijuana in public spaces. If caught smoking pot in public, you could face up to 3 months in prison and pay fines of up to 700 U.S. dollars.
“There has to be a lot of responsibility and ethics involved in selling the products. There’s been a lot of retaliation since the legalization because there’s no information for responsible and safe use, and the people who retaliate are scared that it’s still a drug for them.”Chokwan Chopaka, a longtime cannabis advocate.
Since legalization, Chopaka says her growth has doubled since they have been able to sell cannabis. She has made a million baht just selling the flowers.
Why the Sudden Importance of Legalizing Weed?
While running her shop in Central Bangkok, Chopaka says the reality of selling cannabis gummies is different.
“The key thing is you buy Thai-grown cannabis; you support Thai businesses, you support Thai growers, and not the important stuff that is currently being shipped into the country illegally”
While weed is legal to become a cash crop, the country could reach 1.2 billion dollars in earnings by 2025. Thailand wishes to be Asia’s nascent cannabis industry, following the US and other economies that are liberalizing weed laws following medical use. (Source)
Thailand has always had plans to promote the idea of the wellness industry, as reported by the Bangkok Post.
Doing so, initiating cannabis use would allow people within the local bounds of Thailand to make more money and focus on the people’s welfare. While currently under military rule, the National Legislative Assembly allows for the use of weed for medical purposes, a value that Thailand has always favored.
How Will the Law Come Into Effect?
Public health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, said that as the law comes into effect, people will soon be able to grow cannabis inside of their homes, of course, all under the aspect of keeping the government involved. Moreover, you can obtain a license for the commercial growth of weed.
Alongside medical purposes, resorts in Thailand are also using this to their advantage. Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Pattaya are embracing the rise in weed and using cannabis plants in their products at famous beach resorts.
The legalization of weed is also making its way into the Green Wellness Clinic, where online store Bloom sells items such as soap, ice cream, and CBD popcorn, helping to enlist the cannabis industry and weed even further.
“The legalization could bring an opportunity to offer new products and see a niche market expand to a mass market. For Thailand legalizing marijuana, in my opinion, is good news for agriculture, medical, and other business opportunities.” (Source)Thanyaput, who runs Ganja Cafe on Bangkok’s Khaosan Road
Can You Smoke Weed in Thailand?
You cannot technically smoke weed in Thailand. Under all means, you can smoke in private, at your own risk. Like most countries, such as the United States, where weed is illegal under federal law, you can still say that such a form of cannabis is a controlled substance, legalized for minimum and particular use only.
While you can’t legally smoke pot in public, weed, also known in Thailand as “ganga” or “kancha” which is heavily regulated, is legal to be grown in homes for medical purposes.
The FDA has also approved cannabis to be used by restaurants for cooking. Furthermore, it is not easy to get prescriptions for medicines with cannabis. Even if you do, they would have a legalized percentage below 0.2% of tetrahydrocannabinol levels, making it somewhat challenging to get “high.” (Source)
How Is Weed Being Used for Medical Purposes?
Al Jazeera applauds Thailand’s move to praise cannabis for medical treatment. Since the rise in drug dealers and the trafficking of opium, heroin, and cannabis for decades, the country’s move toward cannabis treatments is vital for its image.
For one, Thailand is one of the first few countries to be examining cannabis in the treatment of different types of diseases. Rangsit University has adopted the first Medical Cannabis Research Facility, looking into cancer effects and perfecting the oil extraction process.
Currently, however, Thailand is also dealing with superstitious myths of cannabis oil healing those with the most severe and life-threatening diseases, such as HIV and late-stage cancer.
Although this might be a misconception, critics believe that this is the safest, cheapest, and pain-free cure. One such couple in a temple in the rural north turned to a Buddhist community that grows cannabis to allow people to use it for treatment without any doctors, check-ups, and prescriptions.
Apishad and his wife traveled 8 hours in hopes of attaining the cannabis oil that could potentially provide comfort to Apishad, who suffered from stage 3 cancer. “He can finally eat,” says Apishad’s wife.
Can You Fly With Weed in Thailand?
You can carry cannabis on domestic flights across the country. The law only prevents those under the legal age of 20 from bringing weed on flights. However, you can carry no particular amount of substance as long as you follow orders of 7kg allowed under baggage restrictions of flights.
Additionally, you must note that edibles and oils can cause delays in flights if the airport wishes to search if they follow the legal amount of 0.2 THC levels.
However, if you are a foreigner traveling back to your home country, you can face detrimental immigration consequences for being arrested for weed/marijuana. There is a risk of being blacklisted and never being able to return to Thailand. (Source)
Airplane Dispensary Bangkok:
Adding on to the plane fiasco, why not give yourself the ultimate weed flight experience in the home of Thailand?
“I just go to dispensaries because I want to buy weed and experience it.” (Source)Youtuber – That Content King Guy (Daniel Baci).
Since legalization, airplane cannabis dispensaries are becoming a big hit in Bangkok and have paved the way for an excellent first-class restaurant experience in a restored aircraft.
Conclusion: Weed Has Been Legalized in Thailand But…
Weed is Legalized in Thailand, however, only under certain precautions, specifically for medical purposes. As long as the cannabis has lower than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol, it is permissible to grow weed in the backyards of your homes, under proper government approval.
However, smoking weed is still a severe crime under Thai law, which could have you facing up to 15 years in prison and having to pay an abundant amount of fines.
As weed becomes easier to access within the country, questions remain on how Thailand will establish further safety regulations. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy your visit to growing cannabis cafes and ventures in the main cities.