Thailand’s New Legal Framework for Kratom – Lexology2 min read
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 Thailand;
- 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 above.
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 prohibitions or not posting the required announcement or notice is punishable by a fine of up to THB 30,000.</…….