(CTN News) – Thailand’s Move Forward Party (MFP) has recently proposed the reclassification of cannabis as a narcotic, raising concerns in an industry that is on track to be worth up to US$1.2 billion in the coming years.
This proposal comes just a year after the country made cannabis legal, resulting in the emergence of thousands of businesses catering to the consumption and cultivation of the drug.
Tourists and local enthusiasts have been delighted by the abundance of cannabis shops in Bangkok and other popular tourist areas, offering a wide range of “Best Buds” to satisfy their desires.
Current State of the Cannabis Industry in Thailand
The prospect of the government rolling back the free-wheeling cannabis market has made business owners anxious, despite the MFP’s assurances to protect their interests.
A bill aimed at establishing regulations for the industry failed to pass through parliament, leaving a legal vacuum that recreational marijuana businesses have taken advantage of. This is a significant shift for Thailand, a country with a longstanding reputation for being tough on narcotics.
The Move Forward Party has formed a coalition with other opposition parties, including the Pheu Thai Party. The Pheu Thai party campaigned on a promise to ban recreational marijuana due to concerns over health and abuse by younger individuals.
In the past week, MFP and its allies have released their political agenda, which includes a proposal to reclassify marijuana as a controlled substance and introduce new laws to regulate and support its beneficial uses.
Proposal to Reclassify Cannabis
This proposal has stirred consternation within the pro-cannabis lobby, especially among the progressive younger demographic that played a crucial role in the opposition parties’ electoral success.
The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce has projected that the cannabis industry could be worth US$1.2 billion by 2025. With such high stakes, the MFP is cautiously navigating the future of this burgeoning business.
On the 25th of May, Sirikanya Tansakun, a party official, defended the plan to reclassify marijuana, emphasizing the need to address the legal vacuum. She also pledged support for businesses as the party pushes for regulation through parliament.
While the industry faces uncertainty and anxiety, the Move Forward Party aims to strike a balance between the interests of various stakeholders and establish a framework that ensures the responsible and beneficial use of cannabis.
Thailand’s Weed industry, which experienced rapid growth following legalization, now faces the prospect of reclassification. The Move Forward Party’s proposal to classify Weed as a narcotic has raised concerns among business owners and Weed enthusiasts. Despite the promises made by the Move Forward Party to protect Weed businesses, uncertainty looms over the industry’s future.