(CTN News) – A recent crackdown in Phuket is making waves as authorities intensify efforts to curb illegal cannabis operations. Thirteen unlicensed cannabis shops are now facing legal proceedings for operating without proper licensing, according to an announcement by the local health authority. The swift and resolute response by authorities highlights the renewed dedication to maintaining public health and safety in the region’s cannabis trade.
Unlicensed Cannabis Shops Under Legal Fire
The Phuket Provincial Public Health Office, led by Chief Doctor Kusak Kookietikun, has initiated legal actions against 13 illicit Weed shops. These unlicensed establishments were discovered operating in violation of regulatory requirements. Among them, nine shops are situated in the Kathu area, while Mueang Phuket and Thalang each host two of these unauthorized operations.
Penalties for Violations
The owners of these illegal cannabis shops are now facing the prospect of substantial penalties. Financial fines of up to 20,000 baht can be levied against them. Additionally, they are at risk of imprisonment for up to one year. In certain cases, authorities may impose fines and jail terms as punitive measures.
Temporary Suspension of Licensed Cannabis Stores
Simultaneously, 18 licensed cannabis stores have temporarily suspended operations for 30 days. The reasons behind these suspensions are diverse in nature. Eleven of the suspended stores allegedly allowed customers to smoke cannabis on their premises, a practice that remains illegal in Thailand.
One store was found operating on a footpath, while three others faced suspensions due to advertising breaches. The remaining three stores were subjected to suspensions based on complaints lodged by concerned citizens, as reported by The Pattaya News.
Enforcement Triggered by American Tourist’s Stunt
The impetus for these rigorous enforcement actions came from a widely circulated video clip. The video showcased an American tourist openly smoking cannabis on Patong Road, as a promotional stunt for his Weed shop in the United States.
While intended to promote his business, this audacious act inadvertently exposed regulatory breaches within Phuket’s Weed trade. The blatant violation of Thai laws ignited a prompt and decisive response from local authorities.
Strengthened Commitment to Regulatory Compliance
These recent actions underscore Phuket authorities’ renewed commitment to ensuring that local Weed shops adhere meticulously to all pertinent laws and regulations.With an unwavering focus on public health and safety, the authorities demonstrate their dedication to eradicating illegal Weed operations.
The legal actions against 13 unlicensed shops and the temporary suspensions imposed on 18 licensed establishments send a clear message that non-compliance will result in severe consequences.
As Phuket continues its battle against unauthorized cannabis activities, the region’s regulatory landscape is poised for positive transformation.