As mentioned in our previous alert (link), some parts of the cannabis plant and the hemp plant are now exempted from the list of category V narcotics ("exempted cannabis" and "exempted hemp"). On 25 February 2021, the Thai Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) issued one of the highly anticipated notifications which amended the designation of foods which are prohibited from being produced, imported or sold (the "Prohibited Food Notification"). The Prohibited Food Notification no longer prohibits the use of exempted cannabis and exempted hemp in food products.
The Prohibited Food Notification repealed the previous MOPH notification that prohibited every part of the cannabis plant and the hemp plant from being used as food ingredients and amended the list of prohibited plants or parts of plants to remove exempted cannabis and exempted hemp from the list. Business operators will be able to use exempted cannabis and/or exempted hemp as an ingredient in food products in accordance with the applicable MOPH regulations to be issued in respect of the related food quality and standards.
Accordingly, another implementing regulation prescribing food products, food quality and standard of hemp seed, hemp seed oil, hemp seed protein and food supplement which contains hemp seed, hemp seed oil, and hemp seed protein as an ingredient (the "Hemp Seed Notification") was also issued on 4 March 2021 and became effective on the following day.
We expect additional implementing regulations with respect to hemp based food products to be issued soon.
We are closely monitoring this development and will keep you informed.