Health Ministry, agencies aim to deter recreational weed use

Health Ministry, agencies aim to deter recreational weed use

Pot tea taste test: Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul tastes some cannabis tea at an exhibition that hosted a signing ceremony on cannabis and hemp yesterday among related agencies at the Public Health Ministry. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Pot tea taste test: Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul tastes some cannabis tea at an exhibition that hosted a signing ceremony on cannabis and hemp yesterday among related agencies at the Public Health Ministry. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The Public Health Ministry has signed an agreement with eight agencies to emphasise the use of cannabis and hemp for medical, beauty and research and development use amid fears people will use it for recreational purposes when they are allowed to grow the plants at home from June 9.

The signatories are the Public Health Ministry, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Thai Health Promotion Foundation, Mass Communication Organisation of Thailand, The Medical Council of Thailand, Thai Traditional Medical Council, The Pharmacy Council of Thailand and the Thailand Nursing and Midwifery Council. The signing event was observed by the Royal Thai Police, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board and the Food and Drug Administration.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday the agreement will help improve market value and encourage product diversification into areas such as food ingredients, herbal remedies and cosmetics, as from June 9 cannabis will be officially removed from the Type 5 narcotics list.

However, any products that contain more than a 0.2% extract of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for most of cannabis' psychoactive effects, are still recognised as category 5 substances and regulated under laws pertaining to narcotics control and suppression.

"People can grow cannabis at home for medical purposes after they register the cultivation with provincial administrative organisations, or via the mobile application Pluk Kan, developed and operated by the Food and Drug Administration. Homegrown cannabis will help save money for some patients who need to use the plant for medical treatments," he said.

He said the delisting of cannabis as a narcotic did not mean that people can use it freely, especially for recreation.

He said the ministry has asked the House of Representatives to hasten the passage of the bill which is expected to be deliberated in parliament this term.

"Registration is required for household growing. There is no limit on the number of plants but they must have fenced enclosures for safety and to prevent them being stolen or otherwise taken by other people," he said.

The Public Health Ministry will prepare guidelines for cannabis users on preventing second-hand smoke from affecting others and will propose them to the National Public Health Committee on May 30, said Mr Anutin.



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