Thailand to ban recreational cannabis use by year-end

Thailand to ban recreational cannabis use by year-end

/ 01:43 PM February 29, 2024

Thailand to ban recreational cannabis use by year-end

A woman works inside a cannabis shop, at Khaosan Road, one of the favorite tourist spots in Bangkok, Thailand, March 29, 2023. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

BANGKOK — Thailand will ban the recreational use of marijuana by the end of this year, but continue allowing its use for medical purposes, the health minister told Reuters in an interview.

Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to decriminalize cannabis, initially for medicinal use and research in 2018, then for general growing and consumption in 2022.


READ: Thailand legalizes growing, consumption of marijuana


The move has spawned an industry projected to be worth up to $1.2 billion by next year, as tens of thousands of cannabis shops spring up along with marijuana-themed spas, restaurants and festivals.

Critics say piecemeal rules were rushed out and adopted within a week of decriminalization.

READ: Thailand looks set to crack down on legal pot market

“Without the law to regulate cannabis it will be misused,” Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew said, referring specifically to recreational use.

“The misuse of cannabis has a negative impact on Thai children,” he said.

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TAGS: Cannabis, Thailand

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