Starting cannabis selling business in Thailand
Since the Thailand Narcotics Law was amended to decriminalize parts of Cannabis, it is now legal to produce, sell, and consume certain parts of Cannabis for medical and health purposes, as well as for food consumption, and research purposes.
Cannabis bark, trunk, fiber, branch, root, leaf without flower, extract containing Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) not exceeding 0.2% or residues after extraction do not exceed 0.2% are no longer considered narcotics.
However, these parts of the plant must come from Cannabis grown in Thailand.
Even though cannabis is now legal in Thailand, there are certain limitations in place. Cannabis extracts with more than 0.2% THC is considered to be a narcotic substance. Possessing, selling, and distributing this without a license is a criminal offence.
Possession, use, or smoking of Cannabis with less than 0.2% THC is legal but is only limited to people aged 20 years and above, unless with doctor's prescription. Pregnant women and breastfeeding women are strictly prohibited from buying and using cannabis products. Moreover, the use of Cannabis for recreational purposes, and smoking in public is still strictly prohibited and punishable by fine and imprisonment.
CAN FOREIGNERS ENGAGE IN CANNABIS BUSINESS IN THAILAND?
The law prohibits the production and exportation of Cannabis to foreigners or foreign-owned companies. However, the Cannabis and CBD market are open to foreigners through incorporating a Thai Limited Company. In order to obtain licenses to produce, sell, and import cannabis, 51% of the company shares, and at least two-thirds of the company capital and directorship must be owned by Thai nationals.
IS A LICENSE REQUIRED TO SELL CANNABIS?
Those who are looking at starting a cannabis business in Thailand must strictly abide by the Cannabis regulations. Various licenses will be required for producing extracts, growing, selling, importing, and exporting cannabis. Failure to secure the appropriate license will be punishable by fine and imprisonment.
ㆍDistribution of Plant Parts: It is not a requirement to get a License to sell cannabis leaf, branch, roots and trunk. Distributing other parts of the plant will require a license from the Plant Varieties Act, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
ㆍImportation of Seeds: Thai and foreign owned companies may import cannabis seeds by obtaining a license from the Plant Quarantine Act and Plant Varieties Act. The other plant parts of marijuana and hemp, including products such as instant products as food, cosmetics, and herbs are not allowed for importation.
ㆍDistribution of Extracts: Extraction from all parts of the cannabis or hemp plant, which is a plant in the genus Cannabis, except for extracting from seeds, must obtain permission to produce extracts according to the law on drugs.
ㆍ The seller is not required to obtain a License to sell narcotics in case the extracts contain not more than 0.2 % THC. In case of extracts containing more than 0.2 % THC, both buyers and sellers must obtain a drug license.
ㆍSelling and Distribution of Products containing Cannabis: Products such as food, drinks, or cosmetics should not contain extracts more than 0.2% THC. Varying on the operations of the company, an Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be required.
Growing Cannabis: The FDA launched a website and mobile application, where one could register, stating the reason for growing cannabis.
WHAT TYPE OF PRODUCTS CONTAINING CANNABIS CAN BE SOLD?
Use of cannabis as an ingredient for selling but must only use the parts allowed by Ministry of Public Health such as hemp seeds, oil from hemp seeds, protein from hemp seeds, trunk, fiber, branch, root, and leaf, without the tip or the flower.
Generic home remedies for home use containing cannabis/hemp ingredients Dietary supplements that contain hemp, Hemp oil, CBD oil, CBD cannabis oil, THC oil, THC-Free CBD Oils
Cosmetic products with components of cannabis/hemp These products must not contain extracts of more than 0.2% THC. They must have an FDA number, a selling license according to the type of product, and must not contain exaggerated or false claims.
Food Items or Confectionery Products
Food Items or Confectionery Products that contain cannabis food ingredients such as cookies, hemp confectionery, hemp leaf juice, hemp powder 100% must not contain extract of more than 0.2% THC. They must have FDA number, and must not contain exaggerated or false claims.
Products for Planting such as Seeds, Stalks, Shoots, Rhizomes, Branches, Buds, Roots, Tubers, Flowers, Fruits or Seeds for Planting
All of these must have a Selling License from the Department of Agriculture, Plant Varieties Act.
If you need help in starting a Cannabis business in Thailand, it is best to seek legal advice and guidance from a reliable law firm.