Govt aims to fast-track bill's passing

Govt aims to fast-track bill's passing

Anutin signs paper recognising delisting

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul is in a ceremony to sign a ministerial announcement on Feb 8 officially recognising the delisting of cannabis and hemp as narcotic substances. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul is in a ceremony to sign a ministerial announcement on Feb 8 officially recognising the delisting of cannabis and hemp as narcotic substances. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

A legislative bill is being expedited to pave the way for people to grow cannabis legally for both medical and economic purposes following the recent delisting of cannabis and hemp as narcotic substances, Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister, said.

On Feb 8, Mr Anutin, also leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, which had adopted cannabis delisting as a flagship election campaign policy, signed a ministerial announcement officially recognising the delisting.

He said once delisting comes into force, cannabis and hemp can be grown for personal consumption and sold, within limits, as they are then regarded by law as economic or commercial plants.

The delisting excludes cannabis and hemp extracts containing more than 0.2% by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical responsible for most of cannabis' psychoactive effects. It will come into force 120 days after the announcement is published in the Royal Gazette, the date of which has not yet been set.

Speaking on Friday at a seminar on medical cannabis in Surin, Mr Anutin said that efforts are being made to expedite the passage of the bill to provide a framework for action after the delisting.

The bill details the specific manner and methods in which cannabis and hemp are grown, harvested, extracted, researched and used.

"People will be allowed to register the growing of cannabis which will no longer be capped at six plants [per household]. As for those who want to grow for industrial use, they must seek permission first," Mr Anutin said.

However, he stressed the new rules on cannabis must not be abused, adding the plants have a broader range of medicinal benefits, such as promoting better sleep for cancer patients.

"After 120 days [of the announcement publishing in the Royal Gazette], people can grow cannabis to earn more income and for medical and economic benefits. They have been urged not to abuse it," Mr Anutin said.

According to a Public Health Ministry report, cannabis has been administered as an alternative medicine to more than 240,000 patients. The plant has also been developed into a variety of health products, generating more than 7 billion baht for growers nationwide, it said.


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