RANGSIT UNIVERSITY, BANGKOK, PATHUM THANI, THAILAND – 2019/08/02: A scientist displays raw cannabis extract before separating it into 3 pure cannabinoids extracts such as CBN, CBD and THC at Rangsit University in Pathum Thani Province, north of
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Bangkok, Thailand – To promote the development of medical marijuana products, U.N. member state Thailand has removed low-level cannabis and hemp extracts from its banned narcotic substances list, according to officials. Hemp seed and oil derivatives will be allowed.
Thailand legalized medical marijuana last year.
“The intention is to allow extracts to be used in medicine, cosmetics and food and support hemp as a cash crop,” Tares Krassanairawiwong, Secretary-General of the Food and Drug Administration in Thailand, told reporters.
“So far, only hospitals and research facilities are allowed to apply for licenses to develop medical extracts from cannabis, but businesses see an opportunity,” according to Reuters.
CBD extracts from cannabis and hemp plants containing less than 0.2% THC, were removed from the Category 5 narcotics scheduling, according to a Thai regulator. Under the terms of Thailand’s Measure for Suppressing Narcotic Offenders Act, which is similar to the United States’ current federal drug scheduling system, Category 5 includes psychedelic mushrooms, cannabis and kratom. Category 5 drug offenses are actionable by up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to 1.5 million baht ($48,954).
Vertical integration for cannabis is limited to licensed domestic producers for five years to protect the nascent industry, according to Tares. However, reviewing regulations that would allow businesses to apply for permits is currently underway.
Upwards of 334 permits are already issued, primarily to hospitals and health agencies, according to the FDA website.