On Thursday, the Move Forward Party (MFP) assured certified marijuana cultivators and cannabis business entrepreneurs that their operations would be safeguarded, even as the new government reclassifies cannabis as a narcotic.
The primary intent behind the party’s strategy is to reinclude cannabis in the narcotics list under a ministerial directive of the Ministry of Public Health.
Deputy MFP leader Sirikanya Tansakun stated that this is to enable all government officials, including the police and the Bureau of Narcotics Control, to fully engage in mitigating cannabis misuse.
She indicated that new regulations would be implemented to oversee the consumption, production, cultivation, as well as the import and export of cannabis, tasks neglected by the caretaker government.
“I insist cannabis business operators and marijuana growers will also be protected and allowed to go about their business as usual as long as they have registered and have permission to do so. A proper announcement will be issued to ensure this,” she confirmed.
She was responding to concerns raised by coalitions of cannabis-related business entrepreneurs and cultivators, given the pledge to reclassify cannabis as a narcotic.
This commitment was established by the MFP in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) they signed with seven prospective coalition allies on Monday.
Additional discussions on this topic will be held among coalition partners once the new coalition is established before proposing and executing any modifications to the current legal procedures employed to regulate cannabis, she added.
At this stage, she assured that business entrepreneurs and marijuana cultivators who have legally registered with the government need not be anxious.
Prasitchai Nunual, secretary-general of a public advocacy group named Network Writing Thailand’s Cannabis Future, on the same day published an open letter on Facebook directed at MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat.
The coalition urged Mr. Pita to address the cannabis issue democratically, stating leaping to the conclusion that cannabis should be re-listed as a narcotic could negatively impact medical cannabis.
Mr. Prasitchai stated that instead of persisting in portraying cannabis as a harmful substance to justify its reclassification as a narcotic, the incoming government should discuss the realities about cannabis more earnestly and transparently.
He noted that the public perception of cannabis has been distorted by the aggressive anti-cannabis campaigns of two leading political parties.
Subsequently, he expressed that all relevant parties should be permitted to participate in discussions about which legal frameworks would be appropriate for improved control of cannabis.
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