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Thailand to Require ID Cards to Purchase Cannabis Buds

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Thailand to Require ID Cards to Purchase Cannabis

Thailand’s Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, has announced that Thai nationals seeking to purchase cannabis buds will soon be required to show their ID cards, with sales information being recorded on a government database (DTAM).

Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, director-general of the department, said he had signed the directive, which would take effect once it was published in the Royal Gazette.

It is unknown whether foreigners seeking to purchase cannabis buds will be required to show identification such as a passport. A recent health ministry publication, “10 Things Tourists Should Know About Cannabis in Thailand,” makes no mention of any requirement.

The requirement is the most recent in a series of ad hoc regulations enacted to address concerns raised since cannabis was removed from the federal narcotics list in June of last year. A law to regulate the sector is still being debated in Parliament and may not be passed before the House adjourns before the election later this year.

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Dr. Thongchai stated that under the new rule, registered shops would be required to submit sales and purchase reports to the department, which would hire a firm to write a computer program to track sales and purchases.

Registered vendors will be able to insert buyer ID cards into a device linked to the department’s system and input information about the number of cannabis buds purchased. He stated that if they do not submit their reports to the department, their licenses will be revoked.

According to Dr. Thongchai, over 7,000 shops have applied for permission to sell cannabis buds.

Authorities have emphasized that the primary goal of cannabis decriminalization is to promote medicinal uses and to create economic opportunities for people who grow and process the plant. However, recreational use has skyrocketed, which appears to have taken policymakers by surprise.

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The DTAM is still researching the many potential applications of cannabis, marijuana, and kratom, but they are not currently on its “herbal champion” list. Dr. Thongchai stated that three of the 15 herbs are ready for the herbal development chain, while the remaining 12 are in the second tier, including cannabis, marijuana, and kratom.

Many cannabis-based products are used for the same treatments, but more research is needed to develop cannabis-based medicine, he added.

Some politicians and civic groups have called for cannabis, or parts of the plant, to be reinstated on the controlled narcotics list, fearing that recreational use will become out of control.

However, according to Dr. Thongchai, doing so would create barriers to the development of medical applications.

The Ministry of Public Health announced last month that cannabis buds would be sold by more than 5,000 licensed vendors across the country, with vendor and buyer information being sent to the International Narcotics Control Board as part of an effort to regulate sales.

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