Thailand Takes Next Step to Relabel Cannabis as Narcotics: Post

(Bloomberg) -- Thailand took another step in its plan to reclassify cannabis and hemp as narcotics again after a committee tasked with controlling illegal drugs agreed they shouldn’t be for recreational use, the Bangkok Post reported.

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All members of the committee agreed on the principle that cannabis should be used for the purposes of medical treatment only, the report said, citing the public health ministry’s deputy permanent secretary Surachoke Tangwiwat. A majority agreed to put cannabis and hemp back on the narcotics list, the paper said.

The committee will submit its report to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board next week, and a nod from the agency will then prompt the Food and Drug Administration to amend cannabis-related laws and provide criteria on usage of the plants, the Bangkok Post said. The new rules are planned to take effect on Jan. 1.

Thousands of weed dispensaries and other related businesses have opened across the country since Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalize cannabis in 2022.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin ordered officials to take steps to restrict the use of marijuana to only medical purposes. Cannabis advocacy groups and businesses have voiced their opposition to the policy u-turn, staging rallies and threatening a legal challenge against the premier.

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