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In 2021, Thailand passed the updated Narcotics Act (No. 8) B.E.
2564 (2021), which removed kratom (Mitragyna speciosa)
from the list of prohibited substances, eliminated kratom-related
offenses on the basis that its consumption is part of traditional
Thai cultural norms, and allowed possession and consumption.
On August 26, 2022, Thailand published the Kratom Plant Act B.E.
2565 (2022) in the Government Gazette, and the
law came into effect the following day. With the aim of encouraging
economic activity related to kratom, the act regulates the trade,
sale, consumption, study, and advertising of kratom leaves (alone
or as an ingredient in food) in Thailand.
Importing and Exporting Kratom Leaves
Importing and exporting kratom leaves without obtaining a
license from the secretary-general of the Narcotics Control
Board (NCB) is prohibited under the
Kratom Plant Act. Eligible license recipients include:
- Thai nationals over twenty years old and residing in
- Juristic persons registered under Thai law;
- Community enterprises under the law; and
- Government agencies.
A license is valid for five years, and importers and exporters
must still notify the NCB when importing or exporting kratom
leaves. An exception to the licensing requirement is bringing
kratom leaves in and out of Thailand for personal consumption,
therapy, and treatment of an illness. The amounts allowed for
international travel are to be specified in ministerial
regulations. If the amount of the kratom leaves exceeds this
allowance, the transport will be considered importing or exporting
of kratom leaves, triggering the licensing requirements described
Violation of these requirements is subject to imprisonment for
up to one year, a maximum fine of THB 100,000, or both.
The Kratom Plant Act also allows the sale of kratom leaves alone
or as an ingredient in food, subject to certain conditions. Under
the law, sales of kratom include selling, dispensing, distributing,
exchanging, or giving the substance to others. The laws measures
pertaining to this are intended to protect people from the
potential harm of consuming or misusing kratom.
It is prohibited to sell kratom leaves or food that contains
kratom leaves as an ingredient to persons under 18 years old, and
pregnant or breastfeeding women. The law also authorizes ministers
of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Public Health to
prohibit selling kratom to additional persons. Sellers must post an
announcement at their place of sale (including electronic points of
sale) noting the prohibition on selling kratom to these parties.
Violating one of these …….