The Process of Thailand's Medical Marijuana Legalization

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The Thai government redefined medical marijuana in February 2019, promulgated a new narcotics law, and amended the 1979 narcotics law.

The new law classifies medical marijuana as a class-5-narcotic. After the promulgation of the new law, Thai citizens will be able to apply for medical marijuana treatment.

Patients applying for medical marijuana treatment must issue one or more of the 38 types of cannabis treatment permits, which makes the process of applying for medical marijuana treatment more challenging.

Currently, only dozens of patients are receiving treatment. After the promulgation of the new law, the government announced the basic framework of cannabis legislation, but this framework has so far lacked specific legal regulations.

Regulation of medical marijuana in Thailand

Although the regulatory framework for medical marijuana is not yet perfect, there are specific guidelines for necessary directions. Seven types of organizations are allowed to obtain permits after following particular instructions, including government and research institutions, doctors and practitioners, and patients.

Thailand’s Office of Narcotics Control Board, Food and Drug Administration, and MINISTRY OF PUBLIC HEALTH jointly study and formulate corresponding guidelines, review, and issue licenses.

The Government Pharmaceutical Agency plays an important role in the research on the detailed regulations on the cultivation and production of medical marijuana, with certain research results and appropriate evaluation methods, and a 5-year evaluation period for the legalization of medical marijuana.

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Private Enterprises ‘Opportunity

However, it is worth noting that private enterprises have not yet been allowed to include in the seven types of organizations that are permitted to obtain permits. But this rule does not mean that private companies excluded from the cannabis market. The government hopes that private companies that grow cannabis must cooperate with licensed organizations to operate legally within the regulatory framework.

Moreover, private companies must be registered under Thai law and have offices in Thailand, and at least two-thirds of the directors, partners, or shareholders must be Thai nationals. In order to ensure that large overseas companies do not affect state-owned assets, the Thai government has adopted this protection measure.

These limitations specified in the “Guideline for approval of a request for plantation of cannabis B.E. 2562”, which defines FOUR GROUPS qualified for APPROVAL FOR CULTIVATION:

• GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES with duties in relation to research, teaching or provision of public services,

• INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION under the law of private institution of higher education,

• PERSONS OF AGRICULTURAL PROFESSION who collectively join the registered community enterprise

• OTHER APPLICANTS AS ANNOUNCED by the Minister in ministerial regulations under the approval of the Committee.

Medical Needs

According to a report in the Bangkok Post, about 400 doctors, pharmacists, and dentists are currently allowed to prescribe cannabis medicines (about 1% of medical professionals). The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health stated that the Ministry of Health had received requests for the use of medical marijuana in about 100 hospitals.

• Medical marijuana can be prescribed to patients showing symptoms of some 38 conditions

• Cannabis oils are the most popular form of application, with pills and drops being an alternative

• Import and export should be allowed in the future, but not before a few years.

• Currently, there is no sufficient supply to meet the high demand.

This article is issued by Cannabis Catalysts. For further information, please check out Cannabis Catalysts.

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