BANGKOK, THAILAND – The Thai government on Tuesday dropped cannabis from its list of banned drugs, becoming the first country in Asia to decriminalize marijuana.
The move comes less than four years after Thailand’s legalization of cannabis for medical purposes.
CNN reports that the rule change will allow Thais to grow cannabis plants at home, though it will not go into effect until after it has been officially published in the Royal Gazette and a further 120 days have elapsed. Furthermore, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that growing cannabis for commercial purposes would require additional licenses.
Relatedly, the health ministry will present parliament with a draft bill charting a path towards further legalization of what the government hopes will become a major cash crop for a country in which one out of every three workers is in the agricultural sector. The bill is necessary to roll back other legislation currently on the books that illegalizes the production, sale, and consumption of recreational cannabis.
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