Network protests relisting plan
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Network protests relisting plan

The Cannabis Future Network completely disagrees with the Public Health Ministry’s efforts to put cannabis buds back on the narcotics list, and it will protest at Government House next Tuesday, Prasitchai Nunual, secretary-general of the group, said.

“Things have been done without listening to our voice. So we are going to protest at Government House next Tuesday. We will not move anywhere until the government promises us it won’t be amending any cannabis-related law,” he said on Friday.

He voiced concern that ordinary people would not be able to access cannabis for medical treatment because they would need a doctor’s prescription under the amended regulation, adding doctors usually don’t prescribe cannabis for this.

On Thursday, the Public Health Ministry announced that cannabis buds will be listed as a narcotic drug in addition to the current regulation that lists any cannabis extract with more than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of total weight as a narcotic.

Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said the government has a clear policy that cannabis will be used only for medical treatment and building up economic value.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has instructed related agencies to put cannabis back on the narcotic list due to a strong concern about its illegal recreational use, especially among adolescents. The premier gave a deadline to make this happen within this year.

He explained that the ministry will establish two new regulations, paving the way for the relisting.

They are both ministerial regulations to put cannabis back on the list, excluding the leaves, branches, roots, stem and seeds.

The ministry will also have a permit for people or businesses that want to plant, possess, import, export or use cannabis.

“To establish the laws related to the government’s policy, we would like to make it clear that the purpose of cannabis use is for medical treatment, research and other benefits,” he said.

He further added that conditions to get permission for cannabis use should not put a huge burden on those applicants, and it should be designed to prevent any illegal recreational use.

The amended regulation is expected to take some time to implement, helping entrepreneurs prepare for the shift.

Dr Varoth Chotpitayasunondh, the newly appointed spokesman for cannabis communication, said the minister’s instruction is regarded as a “guideline”, and that there is also a need for public hearings.

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