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Thailand News Mar. 1: Recreational Cannabis to be banned by year end?
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Skrevet d. 01-03-2024 16:15
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Thailand will ban recreational use of marijuana by the end of this year but continue to allow its use for medical purposes, the health minister told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

Thai Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew said that cannabis “has to be controlled, meaning that the production, import, export, or processing would require permission."

Cannabis shops that operate illegally will not be allowed to continue, while home-grown cannabis will also be discouraged, added Cholnan, who put the number of legally registered shops at 20,000.

The draft law specifies a fine of up to 60,000 baht ($1,700) for recreational use, while those selling cannabis for such use and participating in advertisement or marketing of buds, resin, extract or smoking devices face jail terms of up to a year, or a fine of up to 100,000 baht ($2,800) or both.

It also toughens punishment for cannabis farming without a license, with jail terms ranging from one to three years and fines from 20,000 baht ($560) to 300,000 baht ($8,000).

The draft bill will go to cabinet for approval next month before heading to parliament to be passed before the end of the year, according to Cholnan.

After Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to free up medicinal use in 2018, and then recreational use in 2022, tens of thousands of cannabis shops have sprung up in an industry projected to be worth up to $1.2 billion by next year.

Critics say piecemeal rules were rushed out and adopted within a week of decriminalization, and the government has drafted a new law to regulate cannabis use that is expected to take effect by year-end.

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