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Cannabis Shops In Thailand Expected To Close By April 2025

jar of cannabis flower

Thailand made a historic shift in cannabis policy in June 2022 by becoming the first country in the Southeast Asia region to remove cannabis from its national narcotics listing. It appears that policy change will be short-lived, with the nation’s prime minister declaring that cannabis will be reclassified as a narcotic by the end of 2024 and that the country’s cannabis shops will be closed by April 2025.

The announcement was not surprising given the number of anti-cannabis talking points that Thailand Prime Minster Srettha Thavisin has offered up since taking office. While not surprising, it is still defeating news for Thailand’s emerging cannabis industry, which has thrived in recent years thanks in large part to the Thailand government’s help.

Every household in the entire country could sign up initially to legally cultivate low-THC cannabis plants, which a reported 1.1 million citizens of Thailand have done. It was the first time in the history of the world that such a public policy was implemented at a national level.

At the time of Thailand’s historic change in 2022, the Public Health Minister indicated that there would be no plant limit for the government’s cultivation program. Thailand’s government also gave away over 1 million cannabis seeds directly to households that signed up. Additionally, the government gave out low-interest loans to help aspiring cultivators get their operations started.

Thailand’s government also launched an app to help streamline the process of people signing up their households to cultivate cannabis. An FAQ public service announcement effort was launched to help people understand the law and cultivation program back then.

A broad spectrum of government agencies in Thailand previously agreed to do their part to push Thailand’s emerging cannabis industry forward. Thailand also released thousands of people serving time for cannabis offenses.

Unfortunately, major changes appear to be on the way. Per Thai Examiner:

An order given by the Prime Minister on Wednesday would close cannabis shops in Thailand by April 1st, 2025. On Wednesday, Srettha Thavisin made it clear he wanted cannabis reclassified as a scheduled narcotic by the end of 2024. It came as a high-powered working group zeroed in on firm plans for a drug crackdown in Thailand. The meeting was attended by three senior ministers, the Prime Minister, and the secretary to the Defence Minister. In short, one of the proposals agreed upon was the internment of drug addicts at a military base. In addition, discretion given to police in relation to small-time users was tightened. The Prime Minister said he wanted to see more vigorous police action in wiping out illegal drug use.

The region in which Thailand is located is home to some of the harshest cannabis public policies and penalties on Earth, with several Southeastern Asian countries still issuing the death penalty for certain cannabis-only offenses.

Thailand’s emerging cannabis industry was estimated to be worth 28 billion Thai baht (€728 million) within the first year of the historic 2022 policy change and was projected to increase to 336 billion baht (€8.7 billion) by 2030 prior to the prime minister’s announcement.