Persons eligible to apply for a license must be (NAR Section 26/5):
|➤ Government agencies|
|➤ Health care professionals (medical and pharmacy)|
|➤ A Thai citizen|
|➤ Companies registered under Thai law (2/3 of the directors, partners or shareholders must be Thai nationals and 2/3 of the registered capital must be held by Thai nationals)|
|➤ Community enterprises governed by the Community Enterprise Act B.E 2548 (2005)|
|➤ Other persons listed in Section 26/5 of the NAR|
In addition, the license applicant must not have been convicted of any violation of Thai laws, and must not have a suspended or revoked license with respect to narcotics or psychotropic substances. Your application should be submitted to the Narcotics Control Division of the FDA office (cultivation in Bangkok) or to the Provincial Public Health Office, if the cultivation area is in the provinces. Therefore, your application must be accompanied by the following documents:
|➤ Identification of the applicant and the persons who will be designated (in writing) to access the cultivation area including the persons in charge of monitoring the activities|
|➤ Ownership documents for the cultivation site or other|
|➤ Map indicating location: cadastral sheet|
|➤ Growing conditions (outdoor or indoor)|
|➤ Building or house plan with photos|
|➤ Security management measures and destruction of prohibited parts|
|➤ Any other document necessary to ensure compliance with Thai laws: for example a medical certification, if you wish to sell cannabis for medical purposes.|
Next, your application will be reviewed by a provincial committee and the governor, and then forwarded to the Thai FDA office. During this review, your product will be checked as well as the production site. The review process will take 2-3 months for applications submitted to the FDA office and 4-5 months for applications submitted to the provincial health office.
The Thai Government announced in 2018 to legalize parts of cannabis containing less than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) :
|➤ Leaves except bud and flower|
|➤ Residues not exceeding 0.2% THC|
In fact, you can legally use all these parts of cannabis for food. In addition, since March 5, 2021, by a notification No. 425, it is allowed to use hemp seeds: oil and seed protein in food. This follows the Government’s desire to develop the hemp trade. Thus, hemp seeds must not have a moisture content higher than 10% and the CBD contained in the seeds must not exceed 3 milligrams per kilogram of hemp seeds or dried hemp proteins. Also, the oil extracted from hemp seeds must be produced by compression or certain methods supervised by the Ministry of Public Health. The Ministry of Public Health also strictly controls the labeling and packaging of hemp seed products.
On the other hand, according to “Phakakrong Kwankhao” expert in the field of traditional medicine at Chaopraya Abhaiphubejhr Hospital, recommended not to consume cannabis in food or drinks, for six categories of people:
|➤ People with liver or kidney problems|
|➤ People with heart disease|
|➤ People under 25 years old|
|➤ Pregnant women|
|➤ Mothers who are breastfeeding their children|
|➤ People who are taking medications with stimulating effects|
The unauthorized parts are the following:
|➤ Seeds (except for seeds listed in notification no. 425)|
|➤ Buds and flowers|
|➤ Leaves with a cannabis inflorescence|
|➤ Residues exceeding 0.2% THC|
Regarding the cultivation of cannabis, it is important to know that it must be done in Thailand. The Government wishes to privilege its population to boost its local economy, before integrating the foreign companies within the Thai economy during 2024. If you want to grow cannabis for food, then you will have to follow a classic procedure. Apply for a license from the FDA. However, if you simply want to buy cannabis for food use, then you can apply for a license and approach an FDA-certified producer.
To produce cannabis for medical purposes, you will need to prepare an additional document to your license application: A medical certification. The applicant must have the cooperation and supervision of a Thai licensed in modern, traditional medicine or herbal cures under the separate pharmaceutical law. In addition, the applicant must be a first class medical professional, pharmacist, dentist, veterinarian, and meet the following requirements:
|➤ Residing in Thailand|
|➤ Clean criminal record|
|➤ Hold a medical practice license: not under suspension or revocation|
|➤ Be of sound mind|
|➤ Not be incompetent or substantially incompetent|
Since the 2018 amendment to the 1979 Narcotics Act, certain parts of cannabis are no longer considered “Class 5 narcotics” and can be legally produced, sold and consumed, under certain conditions.
The sale of cannabis in Thailand is strictly regulated by the government and requires a license from the FDA. It will be easier to obtain a license for the food industry, as it will not require any additional steps with a medical entity. However, the cultivation of cannabis in the medical field is very profitable, so the issuance of a license requires the certification of a medical entity and the presentation of its license.
The production and sale of cannabis is only allowed for Thai companies and is not open to foreign companies. It is therefore recommended to create a company in Thailand and maintain the management with a system of preferential shares (51% of the social shares for Thai people). Finally, it is important to keep a close eye on the evolution of the regulations, as the sale, production and possession of cannabis can be subject to heavy criminal penalties and fines.