Crackdown on Unlicensed Cannabis Dispensaries in Phuket

cannabis phuket

Overview of Cannabis Dispensaries in Phuket

Phuket, a popular tourist destination in Thailand, is home to a growing number of cannabis dispensaries. As of now, there are 1,701 registered cannabis-related businesses on the island, with 1,451 of them being dispensaries. These shops are spread across different districts: 502 in Kathu district, 222 in Thalang district, and the remainder in Muang Phuket district.

Legalities and Licensing for Cannabis Businesses

Cannabis dispensaries in Phuket are required to comply with the Thai Traditional Medical Professions Act, ensuring that they operate legally and within the guidelines of the law. To maintain compliance, officials from the province’s Public Health Office and local administrative offices conduct random inspections on a weekly basis. These inspections help ensure that businesses are operating within the legal framework and also serve to educate business owners about cannabis-related laws and requirements.

Consequences of Violating Cannabis Regulations

When a cannabis dispensary is found to be in violation of the rules, the business faces a 30-day license suspension. Should the business repeatedly violate the regulations, their license will be revoked. For those who sell cannabis without a license, they risk up to a year in prison and/or a 20,000-baht fine.

Recent Enforcement Actions on Illegal Dispensaries

Recently, authorities shut down 13 cannabis dispensaries in Phuket due to their operation without a proper license. This action follows the revocation of licenses for 250 shops in the past for various violations of the Thai Traditional Medical Professions Act. The Public Health Office’s chief physician, Dr. Kusak Kukiattikoon, advises that local officials continue working with businesses to familiarize them with cannabis-related laws and operating requirements.

Incident Involving a Foreigner and Cannabis Promotion

In a related incident, a foreigner was arrested by the police after uploading a video online, promoting his dispensary in the US and using cannabis smoke on Soi Bangla in tambon Patong. The man, identified as 55-year-old US citizen Angkhan, was given a warning by the police. Angkhan expressed regret for his actions, stating he did not know that what he did was against the law. He left the island the following day.

Ensuring Compliance and Public Safety

The efforts by local authorities to monitor and enforce cannabis regulations in Phuket aim to protect public safety and maintain a legal environment for the growing industry. Through regular inspections and collaboration with business owners, officials hope to ensure that all cannabis dispensaries operate within the boundaries of the law, ultimately benefiting the local community and the industry as a whole.