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Sun Legal Update: Can Foreigners Grow, Import, Sell Cannabis?

Sun Legal Sunbelt Update

Players in the cannabis industry are calling on the government to clarify laws after the withdrawal of the Cannabis and Hemp Bill from Parliament’s agenda when the Democrat Party withdrew its support of the Bumjaithai party bill.

There has been a pause on foreign investors seeking to invest in cannabis businesses and farmers are concerned that potential changes in the laws could make it more difficult for them to sell their crops. Cannabis was removed from the national narcotics list in June and since then cannabis businesses have sprouted across the country.

However, that means the cannabis business continues as it has been for the time being. The party that proposed the bill said by withdrawing this bill, another bill probably would not be able to come to Parliament before the end of this session in March.

Many believe that cannabis businesses are limited to Thai nationals only. However, a Thai majority-owned limited company is also eligible to take part in some aspects of the business. Currently, to buy and sell cannabis inside Thailand, all dispensaries in Thailand are now required to obtain the cannabis sales license from the Thai Traditional Medical Office, or TTM license.

To grow cannabis people need to register on the Plookganja app, which does require a Thai ID number and is valid for one year.

To import parts from abroad, you must seek permission in accordance with the Plant Propagation Act B.E. 2518 and the Plant Quarantine Act B.E. 2507. Importing extracts, even under 0.2% of THC, violates the Narcotics Code as the exemption from being classified as a narcotic applies only to extract from cannabis cultivated in Thailand. Additionally, cannabis cannot be imported to produce food or cosmetics.

Selling food, drink or cosmetics containing the cannabis extract is allowed except the extract must be no more than 0.2% THC.

The Food Act does not allow the use of cannabis flowers in food and for food containing CBD extracts, you must apply for food registration or permission to use food labels. If you wish to produce food for sale you must also apply for a food production location and food serial number. The registration process is managed by the FDA.

The cannabis industry is expected to hit 43 billion baht in revenue by 2024. If you are interested in learning more about setting up a company or obtaining FDA permission to manufacture cannabis products contact us at using the form below.

R&D Investment Hits Record

While Thailand did not climb in the overall rankings in the Global Innovation Index 2022, the country’s gross expenditure on research and development financed by business and exports of creative products both hit No. 1 globally.

Thailand ranked third in Southeast Asia and 43rd overall in the index released by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The kingdom climbed the rankings in creative good output and infrastructure, with ICT access hitting number 30 globally out of the 132 economies ranked.

The government plans to roll out investment in innovation, particularly research and development of innovation from creative ideas and culture.

Manufacturing Index Up

The Office of Industrial Economics reported that the Manufacturing Production Index increased by 14.5% year-on-year to 99.28 points in August, and rose by 3.71% from July, due to export growth and the reopening of the country to tourism.

The MPI is expected to climb through the rest of the year as new goods purchases are rising. Automotive and petroleum led the climb in the index.

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