Thailand’s transition from the prohibition of ganja to the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis is one of the most fascinating cannabis stories you will ever encounter. Research on Thailand’s prisons shows that almost 80% of more than 300,000 inmates are serving terms for drug-related charges, including the possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis.
As the first country to legalize cannabis in Southeast Asia, Thailand is becoming the largest cannabis hub in South East Asia. It has continued to grow into one of the biggest locations for cannabis tourism in Asia. The country is home to several unique cannabis landraces like the Thai stick, Chocolate Thai, and Wild Thai, which are known for their unique THC concentration and aroma, which cannabis tourists find enjoyable hence attracting more tourists to Thailand.
To support Thailand’s dream of becoming a choice destination for cannabis tourism, the Thai government distributed one million free cannabis plants to households nationwide in June 2022 to mark a new rule that encourages the cultivation of cannabis at home. For extraction, the cultivated plants must be medical grade (i.e., containing not more than 0.2% THC).
Cannabis laws in Thailand
Like every other cannabis destination in the world, it is important to note that Thailand has a vast array of cannabis laws that must be obeyed by locals and tourists alike.
Phuket High Cannabis has compiled an important list of dos and don’ts of cannabis use in Thailand. This list cuts across where to purchase cannabis, where to use the products, and determining who is licensed to carry the plant in the country.
Dos of cannabis consumption in Thailand
- Study the laws before your arrival
Before arriving in Thailand, tourists and cannabis users must obey the local cannabis authority. Familiarizing yourself with these laws will give you an edge and a general overview of what is needed.
- You can purchase medical cannabis for more than 30 disease conditions.
The cannabis regulating body in Thailand has recommended the prescription of medical cannabis for the following disease conditions; Addiction, withdrawal symptoms, Allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, Anorexia, Bedsores, chemotherapy, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, and chronic pain. You can carry up to 30 days’ supply of medical cannabis for the recommended conditions.
- Consume cannabis in specific areas.
Although cannabis is technically legal for recreational use in Thailand, consuming or smoking it in public areas is illegal. But, there are some designated places where you can legally consume cannabis. Go to private clubs or cannabis-friendly hotels that have areas designated for cannabis consumption. Only use recreational cannabis within your residence as long as the smoke doesn’t affect anyone or disturb people in the surrounding areas.
- Be discreet
Aside from consuming cannabis in designated areas, it is crucial to be discreet. Though it is legal, cannabis is a very sensitive topic in Thailand, and it will be better to avoid drawing too much attention.
- Enjoy the local culture
Thailand is popular for its beautiful beaches, rich cultural history, and delicious food. Although cannabis can improve your experience, don’t forget to enjoy all Thailand offers.
- Feel free to travel on the plane
Traveling with cannabis in Thailand is more lax than other countries. If you purchase some bud in Phuket and want to take it to Bangkok, no problem. Toss it in your bag and enjoy your trip!
DON’Ts of cannabis consumption in Thailand
- Don’t Consume cannabis or smoke in public
Public smoking is prohibited in Thailand. This includes parks, beaches, and other public places.
- Don’t bring cannabis into Thailand
Although you can legally consume cannabis in Thailand legally, bringing it into the country by road or air travel is illegal. While it is illegal to import or travel with cannabis into Thailand, the law is however different as local travelers can move with cannabis. Travelers who want to move with cannabis in Thailand must be over 20 years old and be on domestic flights. The cannabis products transported on domestic flights must not exceed 100 milliliters for liquid products and 7 kilograms for solid products.
- Don’t Purchase cannabis from street vendors
With more than 5000 cannabis dispensaries in Thailand, it is not recommended to purchase cannabis from street vendors. These products are wrongly labeled and may have little to no cannabinoids. They may be unsafe for consumption.
- Don’t Share cannabis with strangers
It is possible to get tempted to share your cannabis with strangers, but it is best to avoid doing so. It is illegal, and you may not know the other person’s intentions. Note that pregnant women, nursing mothers, and people who are below 20 years should not consume cannabis in Thailand.
- Don’t ignore any legal troubles
If you encounter any legal troubles while using cannabis in Thailand, addressing them as soon as possible is pertinent! Contact your embassy or local lawyer to help navigate the legal system.
In conclusion, although cannabis consumption in Thailand can be an enjoyable and memorable experience for tourists, adhering to the rules and regulations is crucial to avoid legal troubles. By being informed about the laws around cannabis consumption in that area, being discreet, and avoiding illegal activities, tourists safely, conveniently, and responsibly consume cannabis while enjoying all Thailand has to offer.
In addition, tourists need to remember that consuming cannabis may have varying cultural and social implications in Thailand than in their home country. Tourists should respect the local customs and culture and avoid any behaviors that may be considered disrespectful and offensive.