The Lower House overwhelmingly passed the first reading of the Bhumjaithai Party’s Cannabis and Hemp Bill yesterday (Wednesday), which will legalize controlled use, production, sale, import and export cannabis, hemp and their extracts.
373 deputies voted in favor of the bill, against 7 against. 23 deputies abstained.
The vote comes as the decriminalization of cannabis and hemp in Thailand came into force today (Thursday), whereby plants, except for extracts with THC content above 0.2%, are removed from the list of category 5 narcotics.
A 25-member review committee has been set up to review the bill within 15 days, by which time the bill is due for its second and third readings.
During last night’s debate, Public Health Minister and Bhumjaithai Party Leader Anutin Charnvirakul said the bill was not intended to legalize the use of cannabis or marijuana in a way that would promote its use in public in a way that would cause harm to others, but is primarily intended to use both plants for medical and health purposes.
He said he wanted the two plants to be treated as cash crops, from which Thais could derive income, adding: “This is a historic day for all MPs to collectively liberalize ganja (cannabis), our ancient Thai medical herb and make it legit”. .”
Under this bill, anyone can grow cannabis or hemp for home consumption, but must register with the Thai Food and Drug Administration, which has launched a website and app to facilitate the process. ‘registration.
The production, import, export and sale of the two factories or their products require permission from the authorities. Currently, only imports of cannabis for medical, research and official use will be permitted.
The sale of cannabis or hemp to people under 20, pregnant women, breastfeeding women and certain types of people, as specified by the Minister of Public Health, remains prohibited.