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Sun Legal Update: What You Need to Know About Cultivation, Use of Cannabis, Hemp

Sun Legal Sunbelt Update

This coming Thursday’s delisting of cannabis and hemp from the list of controlled drugs has opened hemp up to cultivation and use in many other products including textiles.

The natural fiber fits in with the plan to follow the bio-circular and green economic models. Hemp production and products made from hemp are being promoted by the government because hemp as a fiber is growing in popularity.

The world market for textiles and garments made from hemp products is now estimated at more than 140 billion baht. That number is expected to grow by 22.4% between 2022 and 2027.

Thailand exported US$602 million worth of garments in the first quarter of 2022. The International Trade Department has launched a project to develop and promote the production of garments made from hemp.

In 2020, the government established the requirements for filing applications for licenses to produce, import, export, distribute and possess hemp. The FDA opened processing of these application in 2021 for interested Thai citizens and entities under Thai law. Industry operators are now waiting for the Thai Food and Drug Administration’s final regulations for cannabis licensing to support this development.

The cultivation of hemp and cannabis is limited to Thai nationals. However, a juristic entity with at least two-thirds of its board members, partners or shareholders that are Thai nationals is eligible to apply for a license. An applicant who obtains a license for cultivation of hemp must ensure that the hemp does not contain more than 1% THC in the buds of the cannabis plant).

If applying outside Bangkok, the application must be first submitted to the local Health Office which will review the documents before submitting to the Thai FDA, if in Bangkok it can be submitted directly to the Thai FDA.

There are many other regulations in place before hemp cultivation can begin, however, the use of hemp in textiles and cosmetics fall under different organizations. The use of domestically produced hemp in cosmetics must be licensed by the FDA under the Cosmetics Act.

The Thai Industrial Standards Institute has been drafting standards for fibers for various industries. Currently, the main roadblock to increased production of textiles made from hemp fibers are the number of growers and processors in place.

JSCCIB calls for delay in enforcement of new data-privacy law

Thailand’s Personal Data Protection Act went into effect June 1, but the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is asking the government to delay full enforcement until there are clear directions and 20 organic laws are completed.

More than 90% of businesses said they aren’t prepared for the new law, with 69% saying they haven’t even started complying.

The government clarified that if someone’s information or images are uploaded without malicious intent is not illegal, after much of the online debate centered around people fearing they couldn’t upload selfies with friends anymore.

Meanwhile, businesses that want retain customers’ personal data,  including address and mobile phone numbers, must inform the customer and obtain permission.

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