Thailand: The new destination for cannabis lovers

You have probably dreamt about Thailand for your holidays. Now you have one more reason to visit (or revisit) this Asian paradise.

Cannabis and its byproducts have been banned in Thailand for a long time, but now things have changed, you can find them being sold at shops and even hotels. Strolling through Thai markets, you will find many offers for cannabis products of American and European origin because there are already several brands that have ventured into investing in this new destination for legal cannabis.There are few official shops in Bangkok outside the tourist areas for the moment, but it is certainly easy to buy marijuana.

Is Thailand becoming the new “Amsterdam of Asia”?

Legal situation

On 9 June 2022, the Thai government took the decision to remove cannabis from its list of prohibited narcotic substances and Thailand will go down in history as the first country in Asia to decriminalise the plant. The severe sanctions that existed have finally been abolished and it is finally allowed to consume and grow marijuana, although mainly for medicinal use due to the numerous studies around the world that have shown that both THC and CBD can help treat various conditions.

The legal situation has mutated significantly in recent months and anyone over the age of 20 can now possess and consume marijuana, but with a few rules.

The Thai government allows the consumption, cultivation and distribution of cannabis plants, but it is still forbidden to consume on public spaces. The law punishes this offence with up to 3 months in prison and a fine of almost 700€, but actually, if you ask for permission at bars and restaurants you may be allowed to smoke on their terraces and there are many “cannabis-friendly” places that offer menus with THC.

Another rule is that cannabis extracts with a THC content of more than 0.2% are still illegal. Bars and restaurants can serve food containing cannabis as long as the products do not exceed this amount.

In addition, as a result of the legislation, around 4,000 prisoners convicted of cannabis-related offences should be released.

As stated by Thai government spokespersons, the goals of cannabis legalisation are focused on medicinal or therapeutic use and, although police allow citizens to consume weed at home, recreational use is currently in a legal vacuum.

Thailand’s tourism renaissance

By decriminalising marijuana, the Thai government aims to boost the country’s economy, especially in the agricultural and tourism sectors. Thailand suffered a severe loss of economic revenue during the pandemic as foreign arrivals plummeted and it was for this reason that just after the borders reopened the government announced the law, which marks a new era for cannabis.

International cannabis brands have undoubtedly brought a breath of fresh air, created numerous jobs and reinvented Thailand’s tourism offerings. Alternative holidays in beachfront cannabis hotels are very much in vogue and, with this change, it is highly likely that Thailand will become the new tourist destination for cannabis lovers.