Three announcements under the Food Act came into effect on 23 October 2022 aiming to tighten regulations surrounding the use of cannabis and its extracts such as CBD in drinks, food and seasonings. This comes as the government aims to tighten cannabis regulations, ensure consumer safety, and reinforce the government’s policy of promoting and developing the plant as a cash crop for medical, traditional, as well as industrial purposes.
The first announcement requires that food products containing cannabis and/or hemp be properly labelled to warn consumers against excessive consumption and inform them of essential details regarding the ingredients. According to deputy spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul, those who fail to meet the prescribed labelling standards will be given two years to comply.
In particular, food products sold or offered directly to consumers, specifically condiments, can only contain up to 0.0032% THC and no more than 0.0028% CBD by food weight. Meanwhile, other food products must not exceed 1.6 grams of THC and no more than 1.41 grams of CBD per food item. This is a major shift from previous requirements where a maximum of 0.2% THC was allowed.
The second announcement lifts the CBD limit found in hemp seeds, while the third announcement permits CBD to be used as a mixture with other health-safe food ingredients.
The Ministry of Public Health also provided terms and conditions for specific types of food items regarding their CBD and THC content.
What this means for businesses in the cannabis industry
These regulations serve to streamline restrictions surrounding cannabis and hemp and aim to add clarity to food labelling and cooking. Some interpret this move as a step towards the gradual legitimization of cannabis and/or hemp as food ingredients. Traditionally, cannabis was used as a seasoning in Thai cuisine and was present in a variety of dishes such as the globally renowned Green Curry. These regulations will allow restaurants to serve traditional dishes that include cannabis as a flavoring or flavor enhancer.
If your business produces food or food products that use cannabis as an ingredient, it may be prudent to review whether you are compliant with these new regulations. Please contact us at [email protected] or using the contact form provided for more information about the tightened restrictions.
You may also find out more about Silk Legal’s cannabis practice here.