Thailand became one of the few south-east Asian countries to largely decriminalise cannabis, but the Health Minister has issued a stark warning to tourists hoping to indulge by stating they are not welcome.
The new law which was only passed two months ago has allowed widespread use in the country although the government line is that it is only permitted for medical use and not recreational.
This hasn’t stopped local entrepreneurs from starting their own cannabis related business.
However, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirkul has stated that “we don’t welcome these kinds of tourists” when asked about recreational cannabis use by foreigners.
The warning may well fall on deaf ears though as cannabis smoking rooms in the country have become a hit with both locals and tourists.
Thailand, a nation that relies on tourism was hit hard during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the nation is recovering well with 8-10 million arrivals in 2022, up from the estimate of 7 million.
The cannabis industry in Thailand is estimated to be worth $790 million and have framed the legalisation on the medicinal and health benefits.
With south-east Asia remaining a popular destination for worldwide travellers hopping from country to country but with the area known for their strict drug laws Thailand could capitalise and become an even more popular hub in the area.
However, with the Health Minister’s latest remark it appears that they are fearful of this.