THE Office of the Narcotics Control Board today (Jan. 11) reminded the public that marijuana remains a Category 5 drug and it is illegal to grow it without permission, Thai Rath newspaper said.
Mr. Piyasiri Wattanavrangkul, deputy secretary-general of the Office of Narcotics Control Board, said questions have been raised about cannabis after a new drug code came into effect on December 9, 2021 with this plant not listed in Category 5 that now says, “narcotics that do not fall in Categories 1 to 4, such as opium.”
However he pointed out that while marijuana is not named as a Category 5 drug it is nevertheless still punishable by law according to Public Health Ministry ’s announcement published in the Royal Gazette in 2020 that delisted parts and extracts of plant including bark, stem, fibre, branch and root; leaf (without inflorescences & flowers); cannabidiol extract (CBD) with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) amount not exceeding 0.2 percent of the total weight.
Piyasiri added that cultivation of cannabis without permission remains illegal despite parts and extracts of the plant having been delisted as these have to be sourced from licensed producers.
Producing, importing, exporting, distributing, or possessing Category 5 narcotics is punishable by maximum five years’ imprisonment and 500,000 baht fine and if it is for commercial purposes the jail term is from one to 15 years and fine from 100,000 to 1.5 million baht.
Those who want to grow the plant should ask for permission from a government agency, medical practitioners or higher education institutions that are conducting research. Farmers registered as community or social enterprise or agricultural cooperative who are working together with a government agency or got permission from the provincial public health office to do so are also allowed to grow it.
Top: Marijuana plant. Photo: NNT
Home Page: Mr. Piyasiri Wattanavrangkul, deputy secretary-general of the Office of Narcotics Control Board. Photo: Thai Rath