In September 2019 Thailand, a country renowned for its harsh anti-drug laws, legalised medical cannabis and started producing its own marijuana products, in the form of THC and CBD oils, tablets, oral sprays, chocolate wafers and other potions. “We grow without any chemicals. No pesticides. No chemical fertilizer,” said a researcher from Rangsit University’s new Medical Cannabis Research Institute in the College of Pharmacy at the time.
“We don’t know if they got the seeds from Thailand or from a neighbouring country. We don’t know exactly. It’s just unknown. After we get the bud, we are going to give it to the pharmacy. They will check how much THC and CBD.”
On the other hand, the National Tobacco Products Control Committee has just banned the sales of vaping products containing any cannabis, alongside any cigarettes and cigars containing the substance.
New vape regulations in the works
To this effect, a new guidance with clear vape regulations will be introduced shortly. Meanwhile a ban on the import, export, sale and possession of vaping products has been in place since November 2014. Anyone caught breaking this law was to have their products confiscated and fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years if convicted.
Despite strong opposition from local health activists and anti-smoking campaigners, In October 2021 MP Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said he was exploring ways to legalize vape sales. He was quoted by The Bangkok Post as saying that he believes vaping could be available as a safer alternative for those who are struggling to quit smoking. Moreover, he said, local tobacco growers and the Tobacco Authority of Thailand would benefit greatly if the tobacco industry was transformed into a more sustainable alternative.
In January, the minister reaffirmed his stance at a gathering where people were campaigning at the ministry. He reiterated that the legalization of e-cigarettes would enable the country to profit from tax revenue as well as offering a safer option to quit smoking. He had added that a working group will be set up to analyze whether e-cigarettes can be legalized for smokers seeking an alternative to help them quit.
The current ban to remain unamended
However, two months later in March, the health ministry yesterday advised against lifting the ban “The continued ban on all types of electronic cigarettes used for vaping will “help protect non-smokers from health hazards,” Health Ministry Perm-Sec Kiattipoom Wongrachit said recently at a meeting of the government’s tobacco board. “The ban on the sale of e-cigarettes is an important measure to protect children from victimization,” he added.
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