A senior Thai cannabis official has dismissed concerns that the newly issued order means cannabis dispensaries must stop selling or users must obtain prescriptions.
After many weed stores across Bangkok closed in a panic on Friday after an emergency government order limiting cannabis and cannabis sales, Marut Gerasetsiri, former director of the Thai Department of Traditional and Alternative Medicine, said it is Coconut This morning they did not make a prescription necessary and stores can continue to sell “conditionally.”
The terms the order sets are the same as those in the cannabis bill awaiting passage in Parliament: no one under 20, pregnant or breastfeeding, should be sold.
Here’s where to buy cannabis now in Bangkok (weed map)
Lawmakers had not approved the bill on June 9 when the weed was officially removed from the list of controlled substances. This created a legal vacuum, resulting in Thailand entering the country with the most progressive weed laws in the world by virtue of not having any of them – not even an age limit.
Therefore, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul yesterday signed a ministerial order listing cannabis and cannabis as “controlled herbs” under the 1999 Traditional Thai Medicine Protection and Promotion Act.
Those who violate the order face up to a year in prison and a fine of 20,000 Thai baht.
Confusion over part of the order regarding medical use has led a number of newly opened dispensaries to suspend sales this morning.
The Taratera dispensary in Silom has announced that it will stop selling marijuana until further notice.
“We are waiting for a response from the traditional medicine department for clarification, just to make sure,” said Basit Bung Chulasata, one of the owners of the dispensary. Coconut today.
But Soranut “Beer” Masayavanich of Sukhumweed said it didn’t change anything.
“You can still sell flowers. People might be a little excited and might get that wrong.” He said.
The confusing part of the matter is the cannabis prescription regulations. It states that doctors – from modern medicine to traditional Thai medicine, Chinese medicine, and folk medicine – can prescribe cannabis and its extracts to patients. The order says their patients can use and possess the prescribed cannabis for no longer than 30 days.
This does not mean that a prescription is required, Marot said.
Sorannot viewed the emergency order as more political sabotage by Anutin’s opponents, just as cannabis proponents blamed Governor Chadchart Sitipunt for spreading fear and misinformation about cannabis deaths.
Even before the regulation went into effect, some dispensaries in Bangkok had imposed their own restrictions. Owners of Highland Cafe, Sukhumweed and The Dispensary by Taratera said they won’t sell the sprouts to anyone under 20, or to pregnant women or nursing mothers.
Surprisingly, panic spread, fueled by misinformation, after the decriminalization of cannabis on June 9, especially since it came without any age limit.
Two young men – aged 16 and 17 – reportedly required hospital treatment for a “cannabis overdose”. Governor Chadchart prematurely pinned a man’s death of cardiac arrest to a “cannabis overdose” despite ample evidence that excessive cannabis consumption is not fatal.
The Cannabis Act passed its first reading in Parliament on June 8, but it still awaits final amendments and another vote.
While waiting for the cannabis law to go into effect — it won’t be passed until months after it is passed — the Official Gazette announced on Wednesday that smoking it in public could lead to a public nuisance arrest. Public nuisance laws are the only legal tool given their complete decriminalization.
Responding to concern about its impact on young people, Education Minister Trinoch Thinthong said yesterday that the ministry will issue an order making all public schools “cannabis-free zones”. The order contains a set of common sense policies and was endorsed by Governor Chadchart, who said the need to educate students about cannabis was big and urgent.
Additional reporting by Todd Ruiz
Correction: An earlier version of this story missed the day cannabis was taken off the list on May 9. The day he would live forever in disrepair, was, of course, June 9.