History Of CBD And Cannabis In: Thailand
Cannabis and CBD have become incredibly popular over the past few years, with public opinion changing dramatically in favor of more legalization. Legal changes have flowed from this significant change in public opinion, and as a result, countries across the world have liberalized their laws relating to cannabis and CBD. As a result, more countries have decriminalized marijuana, legalized medical marijuana or even outright legalized the substance as a whole.
Much of this liberalization has occurred in North America and Europe. However, there are few regions in the world that have not been touched in some way by cannabis legalization. Such is the case in Thailand, as the country has recently engaged in significant liberalization of its cannabis laws.
History Of Cannabis In Thailand
Available evidence indicates that marijuana was introduced to Thailand by way of its neighbor, India. It was used for both consumption and as fiber. Furthermore, indigenous tribes used it as medicine. That changed in 1935, when the country passed the Cannabis Act, banning the use and possession of cannabis.
The laws, and its penalties, were revised with the passage of the Psychotropic Substances Act (1975) and the Narcotics Act (1979).
Current Legal Status
Recreational marijuana is not yet legal in Thailand, and the penalties are stiff. The possession of up to 10kg of marijuana can result in up to five years in prison. However, for most people, a small fine is imposed.
Despite prohibitions, some restaurants and bars reportedly openly sell marijuana, and the substance is relatively easy to obtain. Other anecdotal reports indicate that police in Thailand are susceptible to bribery if you are caught with cannabis.
However, Thailand’s laws regarding cannabis are loosening. In 2018, the country’s National Legislative Assembly voted unanimously to legalize medical marijuana. In August 2019, Thai citizens could begin to purchase medical marijuana. As recently as January 2020, the law was still evolving, with clinics emerging that would prescribe marijuana based on traditional practices. As of today, 25 marijuana clinics are attached to hospitals throughout the country.
Growing Cannabis Acceptance
In March of 2019, general elections took place. The results saw the election of numerous members of the Bhumjaithai party. These officials ran on a pro-marijuana platform, leading some to believe that further marijuana liberalization would come in the future.
As of now, that hasn’t translated to further progressive change related to cannabis laws, but the country is ramping up its cannabis industry and has said they hope to be exporting medical-grade cannabis within the next three years. According to one estimate, the medical marijuana industry in Thailand could have a $237 million value within the next five years.
Laws related to CBD have also seen major loosening. Until September 2019, the substance was illegal. However, at that time, Thailand’s government removed CBD from its controlled substance list. As a result, CBD is essentially legal in Thailand.