If you want to start a business in Thailand that deals with and specializes in the Cannabis trade, Professional Corporate Services can certainly help. We have helped many foreigners set up such companies to buy & sell Cannabis. The process is a little complicated and licensing is required. BUT before you decide to jump into the lucrative business of cannabis it is important for you to know the facts.

Since 2018 Thailand has been toying with the idea of legalizing cannabis. It made great strides by creating legislation to legalize cannabis in the medical field. Medical Cannabis was made legal for health purposes. The most recent legislation regarding cannabis made things easier, but that opened the floodgates to one of the most misunderstood laws and one of the biggest debates currently in Thailand. Is cannabis legal in Thailand?

What Does The Cannabis Law Say?

The production and consumption of cannabis is permitted for medical and health purposes. It’s also permitted for private recreational use if the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content is below 0.2% by weight.
Using cannabis for medical purposes was approved in 2018, but under the new laws it is still illegal to sell or supply any extracts containing more than 0.2% of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the main compound in marijuana which gives the ‘high’.

Cultivating & growing
Households can cultivate a small amount of cannabis (initially up to six potted plants) at home if they register with authorities. Companies can also farm the plant with a permit.

Smoking cannabis
Although there are still some ambiguities in the wording of the new laws, Thai authorities have stressed that smoking cannabis or hemp in public isn’t permitted. Anyone smoking cannabis in public could be liable for a fine of up to 25,000 Baht or a three-month jail sentence if they cause a public nuisance or pose health hazards to others.

Medicinal use
In 2018, Thailand became the first country in Asia to legalize the use of medicinal cannabis. The most recent legislation in June 2022 means that health providers and clinics can now more easily offer and advertise their cannabis treatment services. A number of cannabis-based medicines are now included in the list of national drugs which means that public hospitals in Thailand can prescribe cannabis remedies to patients under the universal healthcare scheme.

Import and export
Importing or exporting products containing cannabis across the Thai border is not permitted.

1. Can I bring the finished products containing cannabis and hemp extracts and hemp derived products into Thailand?
Answer: It is illegal to transport the finished products containing cannabis and hemp extracts and hemp derived products across the Thai border.

2. Can I bring any part of cannabis and hemp into Thailand?
Answer: It is illegal to transport any parts of cannabis and hemp across the Thai border.

Legalization & Decriminalization

The possession, cultivation, sale, and use of cannabis was criminalized by the Cannabis Act 2477 BE (1935) and again by the Narcotics Act 2522 BE (1979). As mentioned above 2018 started the ball rolling and Thailand became the first Asian nation to legalize medical cannabis.

Cannabis became decriminalized BUT smoking/vaping at public places can still attract penalties and or imprisonment under the public nuisance laws.

Cannabis dispensaries were available as early as April 2022. And on June 9, 2022, all cannabis plant parts were entirely removed from the narcotic list, decriminalizing all cannabis-related crime.

Cannabis - Regulations

There is no restriction on the consumption of cannabis plant parts, however, cannabis oils and tinctures with over 0.2% THC are still considered to be illegal. Consumption of these extracts is only reserved for medical use under prescriptions. Cannabis smoking is legal for personal use in private areas but prohibited in public areas by the Public Health Act 2535 BE (1992) with the fine being up to 25,000 Baht (~US$700) and or imprisonment for up to 3 months.

There are currently no restrictions on how many plants each individual can cultivate. The specific law regulating cannabis is still pending in Thai parliament as of December 2022. However, the government urges people to register their cannabis plantation on the website or the application "Plookganja" (meaning "Let's grow cannabis") in case that the future cannabis law may require a license.

Thai law essentially excludes all foreign companies as well as foreign majority companies incorporated in Thailand from producing, selling, importing, exporting, and processing cannabis. The move has been viewed as an effort to protect local companies from the onslaught of highly resourceful and modern technology equipped with foreign actors, however "imported" strains are widely available.

On 11 May, Thailand's first two full-time clinics dispensing cannabis oil for medical treatment were inaugurated. The move is in line with the government's intentions to promote licensed use of medical marijuana to address various health conditions. These two clinics are an addition to 25 part-time clinics that are operating since the legalization of the drug under the new legislation. If this experience produces promising results, the government is all set to open two more clinics as a part of a planned nationwide network of marijuana clinics. The people who were using illegal expensive medical marijuana from underground suppliers are most likely to benefit from it. In addition, the FDA has approved all hospitals of the Public Health Ministry to prescribe medical cannabis to people with approved medical conditions.

Thai Government Introduces Restrictions

The government made an edit to the law which came into effect in November 2022. As a result, recreational smoking inside business premises were banned and flower buds are now classified as controlled substances with restrictions. The herb can now no longer be sold through vending machines or online, in public parks, amusement parks, places of worship or hostels.

Commercial advertising is also prohibited while the existing rules limiting cannabis access to those under the age of 20, pregnant or breastfeeding women have been extended to include students at both school and university levels.

Meanwhile, the cannabis bill — still stuck in parliament — aims at providing clearer guidelines for the use of the plant, but strong objections are still being raised as recreational use has not been explicitly outlawed.

Starting A Cannabis Business

Professional Corporate Services specializes in setting up companies for foreigners looking to do business in Thailand. The cannabis trade is currently on the restricted list and that means that the only corporate structure available in order to start a cannabis business is a Thai Limited Liability Company. PCS has the know-how and the ability to register a company whose objectives are in the cannabis business. We are also completely versed in the Cannabis law and all the licensing required.

SUMMARY - Professional Corporate Services is available if you need help with the process and documentation required in order to register a company dealing in the cannabis trade, please consider contacting our knowledgeable team of corporate experts. And remember the 1st consultation is totally FREE! Go ahead use the contact us form below. We are here to serve you!

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