Authorities warn ganja, hemp still illegal

Authorities warn ganja, hemp still illegal

Marijuana is grown in a greenhouse at Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital in Prachin Buri province on July 4 this year. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Marijuana is grown in a greenhouse at Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital in Prachin Buri province on July 4 this year. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

People still cannot grow or have in possession marijuana and hemp plants in most of their natural forms even after they are conditionally exempted from the narcotics list, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board has warned.

Only cannabidiol (CBD) with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at not more than 0.01% to 0.2% by weight used in drugs or herbal products; dried bark, dried stems and dried fibre; and hemp seeds and hemp seed oil used in food are allowed for use in traditional medicine, food and cosmetics, Niyom Termsrisuk, secretary-general of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), said on Saturday.

CBD is an active ingredient in cannabis derived from the hemp plant while THC is responsible for psychological or “high” effects.

“Ganja and hemp are still Class 5 narcotics of which growing, imports, export, sale and possession or consumption without permits is illegal,” he said.

The ministry’s next step involves issuing more regulations and setting criteria and standards of hemp seeds, or oil extracted from hemp seeds or marijuna, to be used in locally made drugs, herbal products and cosmetics, he said.

On Friday, the Royal Gazette published two announcements on marijuana and hemp, effective retroactively on Aug 27.

One of the announcements, issued by the Public Health Ministry, adds two exemptions to marijuana and hemp as Class 5 drugs.

One is CBD extracted from marijuana with 99% purity or more and with THC at not more than 0.01% by weight.

The other is extracts or products with CBD as the main ingredient and with THC at not more than 0.2% by weight. They must also be classified as drugs or herbal products under related laws and must be used only for these purposes.

The announcement also requires in the first five years from Aug 27, 2019 the exemptions apply only to locally made products by licensed producers under related laws. 

The second announcement was issued by the ONCB on the definition of hemp for control purposes.

It defines as hemp a cannibis sativa L. plant with THC in leaves and flowers at not more than 0.5% of its dry weight and seeds with THC of not more than 0.3% of dry weight.



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