BANGKOK – People who are wishing to use marijuana (cannabis) for medicinal purposes in Thailand can now register for legal possession without being punished.
Health ministerial regulations legalizing possession of marijuana for medical, research and other purposes were published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday.
They cover possession by patients who need marijuana to treat an illness, and the criteria for legal possession by governmental organisations, professionals, private universities, farm community-based enterprises, international transport operators and patients travelling internationally.
The 90-day registration period for legal possession began with the publication of the regulations on Wednesday. It ends on May 19.
Food and Drug Administration secretary-general Tares Krassanairawiwong said patients with any illness could register for marijuana possession if they had the relevant medical certificates.
Dr Tares said phone calls by people seeking more information had overwhelmed the FDA’s 1556 hotline number.
Registration can be done at the FDA office in Bangkok and at provincial health offices.
The government has said repeatedly that recreational use of marijuana remains illegal.
Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn was present at Thailand’s first legal indoor marijuana farm now that the country has now taken the first and crucial step toward developing Thailand’s own patented cannabis medicines.
The new indoor plantation is the first legal cannabis farm in Southeast Asia. It is equipped with advanced hi-tech closed-system aeroponics farming technology, as well as a high-security surveillance system.
The technology will ensure the resulting crop meets the high medical-grade standard required to manufacture medicine from the plants.
GPO has invested Bt100 million in the project to construct the closed-system farming facility and to install the supporting system for a 100-square-metre indoor plantation.