The Bangkok Post writes
The government is seeking to tighten control over the country’s nascent cannabis industry, revising a draft bill to prevent misuse of the plant after previously vowing to curb its recreational use.
A new draft of the cannabis bill, which failed to clear parliamentary hurdles before the election in May, has been significantly rewritten to reflect concerns that misuse of cannabis could lead to addiction, Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew said in a statement.
“Between economic and health benefits, we put health first,” he said.
The revisions include tighter measures to plug loopholes that allow the use of marijuana for recreation, new protocols for cultivation and criminal penalties, the minister said. The draft bill will likely be submitted for cabinet approval in December.
The move to rewrite the bill follows Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s pledge to restrict the use of marijuana to medical purposes, after thousands of weed shops opened across the country since the country became the first in Asia to decriminalise cannabis.
An ongoing regulatory vacuum, following the delisting of marijuana as a narcotic in June last year, has led to a proliferation of dispensaries — estimated to total 6,000 — all over the country. They sell everything from cannabis buds to oil extracts containing less than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol — the psychoactive compound that gives users a “high” sensation.