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Thailand’s Cannabis Policy Could Go up in Smoke after Latest Elections

Opposition party winner critical of marijuana legalization.




Thai Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul @ Creative Commons

Thai Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul @ Creative Commons

While Thailand might have been the first country in Asia to legalize weed, its legacy could be short-lived after the latest general election results on Sunday.

According to a report in Forbes, voters in Thailand “have delivered a surprising and stunning verdict in favor of an opposition party that advocates for significant institutional reforms in the country.”

The Move Forward Party (MFP) secured the majority of seats in the House of Representatives, signaling a “strong rejection of the military-aligned parties within the current government coalition,” says Forbes.

The Bhumjaithai Party, led by health minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the man behind the decriminalization of cannabis (and a Global Cannabis Times Top 100 Winner for Governance), was aligned with that government coalition.

But both MFP and the Pheu Thai Party–the country’s main opposition party–have criticized the rollout and it’s various side effects of legal cannabis campaign and could now work together to roll-back the changes.


The sale of cannabis products has flourished in Thailand, even with recreational use being technically illegal. But not everyone is happy. While some feel legalization has had a negative impact on Thai society. Others—particularly farmers—have found that the plant’s promises to be misleading.

As Global Cannabis Times reported in early May, “Thai cannabis growers and sellers say they are being undercut by illegal imports from the U.S. that sell product for a fraction of the price of homegrown buds.”

What happens next remains to be seen. According to Reuters, While Anutin defended the cannabis policy he campaigned for, he promised that, if re-elected, he would tighten regulations to curb recreational use and restrict cannabis use to medical purposes only.



Cannaconvo with Peter Su of Green Check Verified

Cannabis Last Week with Jon Purow interviews Peter Su of Green Check Verified. Peter Su is a Senior Vice President with Green Check Verified, the top cannabis banking compliance software/consultancy in the space. A 20+ year veteran of the banking industry, Peter serves on the Banking & Financial Services committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He chairs the Banking and Financial Services Committee for the NYCCIA & HVCIA. He is an official member of the Rolling Stone Cannabis Culture Council. And, he is on the board of the Asian Cannabis Roundtable, serving as treasurer.

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