Cabinet supports the extension of the medicinal cannabis growing law

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In theory, the cabinet on Tuesday accepted a proposal from the Ministry of Public Health to amend the Drugs Act to allow patients, medical practitioners and traditional healers to cultivate cannabis for medicinal and commercial use.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul said the cabinet accepted the proposal that Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul made last year to change the drugs legislation.

If passed, the draft amendment would allow medical certificate patients, medical practitioners, and traditional healers or folk healers to cultivate cannabis for medical treatment.

The proposed amendment also requires medicinal drug manufacturers to produce, import and export or possess Category 5 narcotic cannabis.

Existing law allowed only state agencies or those requesting permission to collaborate with state agencies to cultivate, import or export cannabis, whereas herbal practitioners and folk healers are not allowed to grow cannabis for medical treatment.

The Ministry of Public Health held a public hearing on June 5, to get people’s views on the proposed amendment.

The proposed bill will now be sent for review to the Office of the Council of State, before being submitted for review to a coordinating House subcommittee. It will then be referred to the lower House by the vote, she said.

The government hopes the amendment would allow medicinal cannabis products producers to compete on the international markets.

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