Police nab 10 cannabis vendors for illicit sales
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Police nab 10 cannabis vendors for illicit sales

Surat Thani: Cannabis shops and vendors in Koh Samui were charged with violating cannabis and hemp regulations during a raid by the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine (DTAM) on Friday.

DTAM's director general, Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, said the owners of 10 cannabis shops were charged with illegally selling cannabis buds. The DTAM also pressed charges against five suspects from Lamai, Chaweng, and Ban Plai Laem beaches.

Three suspects were from Lamai beach. One was arrested for illegally selling cannabis buds and possessing a false licence for operating the shop.

Another faces a charge of running a vending stall that is not eligible to sell cannabis. The third suspect was caught failing to clearly display a cannabis licence.

One suspect from Chaweng beach is being charged with operating two shops and selling cannabis buds without permission. One suspect from Ban Plai Laem beach was also nabbed for selling cannabis without permission.

Dr Thongchai said authorities seized the cannabis and other evidence and will seek indictments in court.

The raids in Koh Samui were part of a wider crackdown against the illegal sale of cannabis. The Public Health Ministry issued a ministerial regulation last year to decriminalise cannabis and hemp by removing them from the list of narcotics.

However, a bill on cannabis and hemp control has yet to be passed by parliament.

So far, the raids have covered areas where there is a large concentration of cannabis shops such as Khao San Road, Thonglor, Soi Sukhumvit 11, Phaya Thai and Jodd Fairs Market in Bangkok as well as Chiang Mai, Pattaya in Chon Buri and Pathum Thani. During the raids, 35 suspects were caught for selling cannabis illegally.

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