According to the Department for the Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, Thai citizens wishing to purchase cannabis buds would soon need to provide their ID cards, with sales data being logged on a public database (DTAM).
Director-general of the department Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong declared that he had signed the order, and that it would go into effect as soon as it was published in the Royal Gazette.
It is unknown if foreigners who want to purchase cannabis buds will need to present identification, such as a passport. There is no mention of any requirement in the most recent health ministry pamphlet, “10 Things Tourists Need to Know about Cannabis in Thailand.”
The restriction is the most recent in a slew of temporary rules put in place to respond to issues that have come up since marijuana was taken off the national drugs list in June of last year. Parliament is still considering a law to govern the industry, and it may not be passed before the House is dissolved before the election later this year.
The government will employ a company to build a computer software to track sales and transactions under the new regulation, according to Dr. Thongchai, who said registered shops would have to submit reports on sales and purchases to the department. Registered merchants will be able to enter information about how many cannabis buds were purchased by inserting the ID cards of customers into a device connected to the department’s system. Their licenses will be withdrawn if they didn’t turn in their reports to the department, he said. According to Dr. Thongchai, more than 7,000 stores have applied for authorisation to sell cannabis buds thus far.
Authorities have emphasized that the primary goals of decriminalizing cannabis are to promote its medical applications and open up employment opportunities for those who cultivate and process the drug. However, the growth of recreational usage appears to have surprised officials.
While the DTAM is still researching the several potential uses of cannabis, marijuana, and kratom, for the time being they do not top the list of its “herbal champions.” According to Dr. Thongchai, just three of the 15 herbs on that list are ready for the herbal development chain; the other 12 herbs, including cannabis, marijuana, and kratom, are on the second tier.
Many cannabis-based medications are used for the same therapies, but more research is required before cannabis-based medicines can be developed, he added. Because they worry that recreational usage will spiral out of control, several lawmakers and community organizations have been pushing for cannabis or certain plant elements to be added back to the list of banned substances. But according to Dr. Thongchai, doing so would put barriers in the way of the creation of medical applications.
In an effort to control sales, the Ministry of Public Health said last month that it would permit the sale of cannabis buds by more than 5,000 licensed sellers nationwide. Vendor and customer information will be forwarded to the International Narcotics Control Board.