BANGKOK—Thailand on Tuesday became the first country in Asia to approve the de facto decriminalization of cannabis, though authorities have left a grey area around its recreational use.
Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced that the Narcotics Control Board had approved the removal of cannabis from the ministry’s list of controlled drugs.
The delisting by the ministry’s Food and Drug Administration will now need to be formally signed by the health minister and enters into effect 120 days after its publication in the government gazette.
It follows the removal of cannabis — to which both cannabis and hemp belong — last month from the list of illegal drugs under Thailand’s Narcotics Law.
Anutin said last week to AP newswires, that the FDA’s delisting “responds to the government’s urgent policy in developing cannabis and hemp for medical and health care benefits, developing technology and creating income for the public.”
His party announced that on Wednesday it will propose in Parliament a draft Cannabis Act to clarify the legal status of cannabis very soon.
Thai’s cannabis industry, famous for having great genetics, will no doubt be a major contributor to Thailand’s agricultural, and tourism-based economy.