Home Investing News Factbox-What are the key features of Thailand’s cannabis industry?

Factbox-What are the key features of Thailand’s cannabis industry?


Factbox-What are the key features of Thailand’s cannabis industry? By Reuters

Breaking News



Published Feb 29, 2024 12:48AM ET

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Cannabis buds are seen inside an indoor farm at the Amber Farm, in Bangkok, Thailand, January 30, 2023. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Just two years after Thailand became the first Southeast Asian country to decriminalise cannabis in 2022, it now plans to ban recreational use of the drug, creating uncertainty for the public, tourists, and a burgeoning industry.

Here are details of the cannabis sector:


Thailand has a long history of using cannabis in traditional medicine to relieve pain and fatigue. Cannabis also appeared in old cooking recipes before it was criminalised in the 1930s.


In 2018, the government legalised marijuana for medical use and research to boost farm incomes. Companies poured money into the cannabis craze after hemp, a cannabis variant, and cannabidiol (CBD), a compound that doesn’t create a “high”, were legalised.

Consumer goods firms rushed to offer CBD-based products including toothpaste, cosmetics and drinks. Power companies found land to grow and supply hemp.

Agriculture giants, such as CP Foods, also showed interest while shares of companies announcing cannabis ventures soared.

The government cannabis app PlookGanja shows 1.1 million people had registered by November last year to grow cannabis.


Recreational use surged overnight after cannabis was dropped from the narcotics list in June 2022. Cannabis dispensaries sprang up around Bangkok, the capital, and tourist destinations, such as Phuket and Chiang Mai.

Authorities scrambled to rein in recreational use with public nuisance laws and rules to prevent sales near schools and to minors and pregnant women, but use persisted.

The government emphasised that its policy was only to support medical marijuana, but its incremental rules aimed at reducing recreational use were not effective.

Cannabis gave the key tourism sector a boost with visitors enjoying cannabis cafes in Bangkok’s backpacker district of Khao Sarn.


Recreational use of cannabis became an issue in the 2023 elections, with many parties campaigning against it.

In August 2023, the Pheu Thai party formed a government, with a pledge to end recreational use.

In 2024, Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew said all recreational use was wrong and a new bill banning casual use was in the works.

A draft bill prohibits marketing and advertising of cannabis with tougher jail terms for those growing the crop without a permit. However, there is still no clarity on the future of the thousands of dispensaries, clinics and cafes.

Advocates say it is impossible to reverse course and that sales and recreational use are here to stay.

Factbox-What are the key features of Thailand’s cannabis industry?

Our Apps

Terms And Conditions
Privacy Policy
Risk Warning
Do not sell my personal information

© 2007-2024 Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

Related News