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Police weed out illegal cannabis sellers

PHUKET: Officials have arrested a man in Patong who was producing and distributing cannabis related products illegally, warning that harsh punishments will be enforced on anyone operating similarly without the appropriate licence.

By The Phuket News

Saturday 15 April 2023, 11:39AM

The raid occurred on Thursday evening (Apr 13) at a stall on Soi Banzaan opposite the Jungceylon Mall in Patong.

Dr Kusak Loan Kiatkul and professional pharmacist Phuttachat Sangpraphan, both from the Phuket Provincial Public Health office, joined the Colonel Sujin Nilbdee, superintendent of Patong Police Station, to conduct the raid after complaints had been made of smelly smoke causing a nuisance to passers by and local businesses.

The stall owner was identified as 43-year-old Prem Pitiraksakul who it was revealed was operating without the correct license to do so.

Mr Prem was offering a wide range of cannabis-related prodcuts, including two separate jars containing a bouquet of marijuana flowers, one weighing about 20 grams which he was selling for B100 per gram and another weighing approximately five grams that he was selling at B1,000 per gram. Additionally, he was offering ready-rolled marijuana cigarettes at B100 each, of which the athorities said they seized seven in total.

According to the police report Mr Prem was arrested, charged with “distribution of controlled herbs (marijuana bouquets) without permission” and taken to Patong Police Station for further questioning and legal action.

Follwing Mr Prem’s arrest police reiterated that any public sale of marijuana in Phuket must be done so under strict licence laws and that they will be closely monitoring the situation elsewhere moving forward.

Police also warned the public that cannabis must be consumed in appropriately designated areas and that the smoke can become a serious nuisance to those nearby. Section 28 of the Public Health Act B.E. 2535 can be enforced in this regard if the business and premises owners and/or customers do not comply. Violation of the law can result in a three-month jail term, a fine of up to B25,000, or both.

The authorities also reiterated that any restaurants or vendors using marijuana in their cooking must display clear signs on the menu stating so, while also providing clear recommendations and guidelines on suitable consumption of marijuana products.

This is something stipulated in Section 38 of the Public Health Act B.E. 2535 and offenders can face jail time of up to six months, a fine up to B50,000, or both.

The Bangkok Post reports that marijuana has been delisted from the Category 5 list of narcotics in the Royal Gazette since June 9, 2022, allowing people to legally cultivate and use cannabis as a household herb for medicinal purposes.

However, decriminalisation preceded passage of the legislation needed to control and regulate cannabis, which has led to a free-for-all in the industry as businesses, many owned by foreigners, invest in cannabis outlets and users buy weed with little or any medical or consumer guidance.

Parliament has yet to pass the cannabis bill, which has led to questions over how far cannabis liberalisation has actually come.

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Pooliekev | 16 April 2023 - 15:51:47

This is one vendor who decided that the laws dont apply to him. H faces consequences. It has nothing to do with drains, 'envelopes' or anything else, however much you want it to. 

Kurt | 16 April 2023 - 12:51:46

Are all other cannabis shops around the Patong stinky drains more legal than the 'Prem shop'?  I doubt it. It's the usual brown envelop story. Making a example of mr Prem, so others pay more protection money. The smell complains? Be happy that it overwelms the stinky drains of the world-class tourist destination. The complain is a typical thai jealousy matter, used by RTP for own benef...

JohnC | 16 April 2023 - 09:19:37

If cannabis caused the same amount of heartaches, aggression, violence and death as alcohol they would have a reason to complain about it. Why is alcohol still seen as an acceptable drug when of all the misery it causes.

Timothy | 16 April 2023 - 09:05:33

But they are so used to the smelly open sewer, nobody complains about those. There are some drains in Bangtao that totally reek. Walked through Boat Ave yesterday. So many stinky drains, I don't know why anybody would want to eat in the cafes there. The Thais continue to build open sewers. They don't seem to care about the constant smell of shite, but cannabis smell is a nuisance.

skorchio | 16 April 2023 - 04:19:28

with weed shops all over Patong, left right and up the yingyang, what did this individual do wrong to bring a raid ? huh ? what did he do, or not do ?  

Kurt | 15 April 2023 - 17:29:05

Many efforts of Thai Lower Class to make bit extra living beside their very small salaries is seen by Thai Upper Class as attempt of attacking their unwritten rights to keep their 'brothers and sisters' under repressing hands. Idea that Thai Lower Class rise in level of quality of life joy has to be blocked at any cost. That will be reflected in the HISO cannabis 'liberation' bill!...

Old guy | 15 April 2023 - 14:56:49

It's amusing that they add "... many owned by foreigners..." as a way to make it sound bad. Such a joke. Here's a chance for many Thais to make a living and it upsets the wealthy authorities. 


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