Thailand has just announced that it has taken a step further towards a strong medical cannabis program. The country added low-level cannabis extracts and low-level hemp extracts to its medial cannabis program for legal production of medical cannabis products. In order to add the cannabis and hemp extracts for further research and development as medical cannabis products, both types of low-level extracts were removed from the country’s Category 5 narcotics scheduling. Extracts of cannabidiol (CBD) that contain less than 0.2% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were removed from the banned narcotic substances list. Other substances within the Category 5 narcotics list, which is a subset of Thailand’s Measure for Suppressing Narcotic Offenders Act, includes psychedelic mushrooms, cannabis and kratom. A violation of the Category 5 narcotics substances list is subject to up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $48,954 (1.5 million baht).
Tares Krassanairawiwong, Secretary-General of the Food and Drug Administration, stated: “The intention is to allow extracts o be used in medicine, cosmetics and food and support hemp as a cash crop.”
The country currently limits medical cannabis extract permit holders to hospitals and research facilities, but permits could be open to local businesses soon. A process that reviews the country’s regulations may allow Thailand companies to apply for medical cannabis permits. Local businesses also have opportunity protection as the country has limited cannabis cultivation to domestic producers for a five-year period. As of now, there are 334 issued permits in Thailand that are all, for the most part, issued to hospitals and other health-related agencies.
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