Researchers Association Support the Cannabis and Hemp Bill

On Monday, the Association of Researchers of Thailand (ART) showed its support for the Cannabis and Hemp Bill, with a letter outlining this sent to the Public Health Minister.

The letter, which was signed by 500 people who support the bill and the ministerial announcement on cannabis extracts and buds, was delivered to the Public Health Ministry Anutin Charnvirakul by ART President Dr. Pipat Nothanathorn.

The November 11 ministerial announcement placed cannabis extracts and buds on the list of controlled herbs under the Thai Traditional Medicine Protection and Promotion Act.

Through the letter, researchers opposed returning cannabis to the narcotics list and expressed support for the plant’s use for medical purposes.

According to Mr. Anutin, the association supported the bill after discovering that cannabis could have great health and economic benefits if used as medical treatment.

The public health minister insisted that the ministerial statement does not classify the cannabis plant as a narcotic. However, the extracts cannot contain over 0.2% of the psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and remain on the controlled list.

Cannabis’ buds and flowers must also remain listed on the controlled list, Mr. Anutin added. In addition, the announcement prohibits street sales, especially vending vans.

Mr. Anutin explained that the ministerial announcement would come into force once it is published in the Royal Gazette.

While the Cannabis and Hemp Bill passed the House of Representatives on first reading, a 198:136 vote with 12 abstentions withdrew it for review.

The bill had reportedly been deliberated on the second reading. However, Democratic and opposition MPs from the Pheu Thai and Move Forward parties objected, stating that it had been extensively altered after the original version went through a scrutiny process following the first reading.