Thailand has removed the seeds and oils extracted from some cannabis plants from its list of controlled substances
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul made the announcement in an effort to boost the country’s economy.
The new regulation would effectively allow the use of hemp oil and seeds as ingredients in drugs, food and cosmetics products, reports the Bangkok Post.
Hemp is defined by the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) as a cannabis sativa L plant with less than 0.5% of THC by weight in its flowers and stems, and no more than 0.3% of THC by weight in its seeds.
But ONCB secretary-general Niyom Termsrisuk warned Thais they are still not allowed to grow or possess cannabis and hemp plants.
He said: “Marijuana and hemp are still Class 5 narcotics, and their cultivation, import, export, sale, possession and/or consumption without permits are illegal.”
Most Asian nations have strict drug laws, but there are signs attitudes towards medical cannabis are softening – opening up investment opportunities in the region.
In July Thailand’s new government announced it is prioritising the development of a medical cannabis industry.
The coalition government, elected in March and headed by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, released a policy document stating: “The study and technological development of marijuana, hemp, and other medicinal herbs should be sped up for the medical industry to create economic opportunity and income for the people.”