The House of Representatives yesterday approved a bill to regulate the sale and planting of kratom after it has been removed from the list of narcotic plants.
The MPs voted 281 to zero with one abstention to pass the bill after the legislation was vetted by a House scrutiny committee. The bill will now be tabled for deliberation by the Senate.
Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said the bill's removal from the narcotic plants list meant people could posses, consume and use kratom legally for specific purposes.
The bill dictates measures to regulate the imports and exports of kratom. Those importing and exporting the plant must be licensed.
The minister added the regeneration, planting and sale of kratom is permissible in most cases, although certain restrictions apply, which are listed in the bill.
The scrutiny committee said the excessive consumption of kratom could harm the health of young people, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
As a result, it has added a clause in the bill restricting the sale, advertising and consumption of kratom for those groups. The advertising of kratom is legally permissible unless it is done with the intent to encourage consumption of the illicit kratom-based cocktail known as "4x100".
The scrutiny panel observed that kratom held many useful properties.