Silk Legal: The fat lady has sung: the state of Cannabis in post-election Thailand

This article serves as a follow up to the article entitled Cannabis: The Fat lady is about to sing.’



Dr. Paul Crosio


Paul is partner at Silk Legal who specializes in restructuring, CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine), regulatory, R&I and general corporate law.


In the aftermath of the May 14 general election in Thailand, the progressive Move Forward Party has emerged as the likely candidate to form the next government.

Interestingly, it was the conservative military-backed government that first proposed the decriminalization of marijuana, supposedly initially only for medical use. However, the legal status of the plant remained uncertain. A proposed bill to establish regulations became too political and failed to pass through parliament, leaving a legal vacuum that has allowed a thriving recreational marijuana business to operate unchecked in the country.

Move Forward is looking to form a coalition with other opposition parties, including the Pheu Thai party. Pheu Thai emotionally campaigned on a promise to ban the recreational use of marijuana, citing concerns about the potential health risks and abuse by young people.

With a growing recreational market but with potential for medical use, it is clear that the legal status of this drug will continue to be a point of interest, and the heated debate continues. As Thailand moves towards a new era of government, it remains to be seen how the issue of marijuana legalization will be addressed.

This week, Move Forward and its allies released their political agenda, which specifically includes a proposal to reclassify marijuana as a controlled substance and heavily regulate its use.

However, this proposition has caused consternation among the pro-cannabis lobby, especially the younger generation that helped these opposition parties win the recent election. Many people are concerned that the proposed reclassification of marijuana as a narcotic will create a legal vacuum, encourage a black-market industry, and negatively impact Thailand’s credibility. Currently, over 1.1 million people have registered with the government to grow cannabis, and over 5,000 dispensary licenses have been issued.

In response to the proposed regulations, a petition has been signed by over 5,200 people and 200 businesses, stating that reclassifying cannabis would violate the people’s rights. With so many dispensaries, growers, and users, there are valid concerns about whether any government could put the marijuana genie back in the bottle. The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce predicts that the cannabis business could have been worth $1.2 billion by 2025 if it remains decriminalized.

The future of cannabis legislation in Thailand hangs in the balance. While there is a growing recreational market and potential for medical use, conflicting opinions and concerns have emerged regarding the proposed reclassification of marijuana as a controlled substance. The outcome of this debate will have significant implications for Thailand’s cannabis industry. It remains to be seen how the government will address these issues and find a balance that satisfies the diverse interests and concerns surrounding marijuana legalization.

The fat lady is about to sing, and the curtain may be closing.

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Jerry Chesler – Chesler Consulting

Ian Stewart – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Otis Felder – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Lance Rogers – Greenspoon Marder – San Diego
Jessica McElfresh -McElfresh Law – San Diego
Tracy Gallegos – Partner – Fox Rothschild

Adam Detsky – Knight Nicastro
Dave Rodman – Dave Rodman Law Group
Peter Fendel – CMR Real Estate Network
Nate Reed – CMR Real Estate Network

Matthew Ginder – Greenspoon Marder
David C. Kotler – Cohen Kotler

William Bogot – Fox Rothschild

Valerio Romano, Attorney – VGR Law Firm, PC

Neal Gidvani – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder
Phillip Silvestri – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder

Tracy Gallegos – Associate Fox Rothschild

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Matthew G. Miller – MG Miller Intellectual Property Law LLC
Daniel T. McKillop – Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC

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Gregory J. Ryan, Esq. Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Tim Nolen Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Paul Loney & Kristie Cromwell – Loney Law Group
William Stewart – Half Baked Labs

Andrew B. Sacks – Managing Partner Sacks Weston Diamond
William Roark – Principal Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin
Joshua Horn – Partner Fox Rothschild

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Teddy Eynon – Partner Fox Rothschild