A ministerial announcement conditionally removing cannabis and hemp from the banned narcotics list was made in February but has not yet become effective.
The Ministry of Public Health is reminding people that growing cannabis at home will only be permitted from June 9 onward.
An academic conference on medical cannabis has been launched in Bueng Kan for audiences in the Mekong River provinces.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul presided over the opening of the academic conference, which was intended for Public Health Region 8 and is part of a series of conferences on medical cannabis planned for several provinces.
The Royal Thai Police has been asked to educate its officers across the country about the new legal status of cannabis and hemp, following the arrests of two elderly women growing the plant.
Recreational use of cannabis, however, remains banned as extracts from cannabis that contain more than 0.2% of THC per its weight are not removed from the list.
The minister reiterated his policy to promote cannabis as a cash crop as a way for people to generate income. He also noted that, in addition to medicinal uses, all parts of the cannabis plant can be used in cooking.
Minister Anutin added that cannabis and hemp products are in high domestic demand this year despite the COVID-19 situation, having so far put 7 billion baht into circulation.
The minister nevertheless cautioned that household cultivation may only commence starting June 9 – 120 days after the removal of cannabis from the national narcotics list. A draft bill for regulating cannabis and hemp is currently being presented to the House of Representatives.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said last Friday that there is widespread confusion, among police and the public, about the new legal status of cannabis, hemp and extracts from cannabis during the transition period until the change of status becomes effective on June 8th.
In addition to providing information on cannabis, the conference also offers events such as food tastings, with highlights including dishes prepared by Michelin Star chef Chumpol Jangprai that contain cannabis as an ingredient.
Public Health Region 8 has made clear its intentions to use medical cannabis to help it achieve its aspirations of becoming a healthcare hub for the Mekong area.
The next iteration of the academic conference on medical cannabis will take place in Khon Kaen province.