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Thailand Blacklists Tourists for Blowing Cannabis Smoke on People



After blowing a massive cloud of cannabis smoke on a throng of people in Phuket, Thailand, American tourist Angkhan Vorac Chhieng was forced apologise. He was captured on YouTube using a “Ghostbusters-style smoke blower” to smoke out a mob of people with cannabis smoke on a busy street in Phuket.

As pedestrians pass by, video footage shows the visitor blowing what appears to be cannabis smoke. The video went viral online, prompting the Phuket Police to launch an inquiry.

Phuket Police Col. Sujin Nilabadee said officials were able to locate down the American using CCTV footage and forced him to apologise in a video message.

Mr. Chhieng claimed in the video that he was using the device to promote his marijuana business and apologised for any damage to Phuket’s tourism reputation. “Please accept my apologies to Phuket.” Thailand is my favourite country. “It was a misunderstanding,” he said.

Cannabis Smoke Phuket

Phuket police then “sent notifications to the Immigration Office and the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office directing them to take appropriate action within their areas of jurisdiction.”

The event also prompted local authorities in Phuket to perform inspections of cannabis merchants in the region to check for valid licences and sales permits, but authorities found no irregularities.

According to immigration officials, the American arrived in the country on August 15 and was staying in a hotel in the neighbourhood at the time of the event, but he has since left the country.

The Immigration police also published a statement, indicating that they intended to bar the American from reentering the country.

Last Monday the Phuket News reported, Phuket police filed legal action against 13 illegal cannabis stores that were operating without proper licencing. Phuket Provincial Public Health Office Chief Doctor Kusak Kookietikun confirmed the local health authority.

The owners of cannabis shops are now facing hefty financial penalties, with fines of up to 20,000 baht. They are also considering prison sentences of up to a year. Both sanctions may be used in some instances.

The licences of 18 cannabis retailers have been temporarily suspended for 30 days in a separate proceeding. These suspensions are for a variety of causes.

Eleven of these establishments allegedly allowed consumers to use cannabis on the premises unlawfully. One store was discovered to be operating on a public sidewalk, while three others were cited for advertising violations.

Read: 7 Health Benefits of Vaping Instead of Smoking Cannabis

Health officials in Phuket have initiated a campaign to regulate the burgeoning cannabis industry on the island. Weekly random inspections of cannabis shops and venues are set to ensure adherence to legal guidelines.

These inspections aim to prevent public nuisance caused by the odor and smoke from cannabis consumption and to uphold the established regulations.


The Chief of Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO), Dr. Kusak Kukkiattikoon, has announced the implementation of weekly random inspections for cannabis shops and venues.

The primary focus is to ensure licensed vendors advise their customers against smoking in ways that create unpleasant odors and smoke, which could inconvenience the public.

While cannabis has been legalized in Phuket, regulation remains needed to manage the potential negative impacts. The odor and smoke from public cannabis consumption can be considered a public nuisance and subject to fines of up to 20,000 baht. Notably, even smoking within cannabis shops is prohibited under the current regulations.

Phuket currently hosts 1,451 licensed cannabis businesses, which are spread across various districts. The inspections are a collaborative effort involving multiple entities, including the Ministry of Public Health, Consumer Protection Office, District Public Health Office, local government bodies, police, and administrative organizations.

Dr. Kusak emphasized that violators of the regulations could face significant legal consequences, including suspension or withdrawal of their distribution licenses. Fines of up to 20,000 baht, imprisonment for up to a year, or both are possible penalties. Instances of operating without a license have already led to prosecutions.


Authorities are prepared to use evidence from social media to enforce the regulations. Licenses can be temporarily suspended for 30 days and revoked for persistent violations. Dr. Kusak underscored the importance of adhering to regulations, whether incidents are witnessed directly or reported later.

Venues that allow smoking on their premises without proper authorization have been ordered to cease operations temporarily.

Cannabis-based offerings must be indicated on restaurant menus, and safe consumption guidance is required to pass inspections. Local authorities also need Official permission or certification to operate as food vendors.

Failure to acquire the necessary licenses and certifications could lead to severe consequences. This includes potential imprisonment for up to six months and fines of up to 50,000 baht for operating without the required certification.

Establishments failing to comply with cannabis consumption guidelines could face penalties of up to three months imprisonment or fines of up to 25,000 baht.



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