Reader Talkback Thailand: Should smoking cannabis be allowed in licensed cannabis shops in Pattaya?

PHOTO: Thansettakij


The following is our weekly feature in which we ask our readers a news topical question and get their insight and opinions. We then share their feedback a week later and pick a variety of diverse and interesting responses.

This week, we want to ask: 

Should smoking cannabis be allowed in licensed cannabis shops in Pattaya?

Some context around this question:

Recent guidelines from the Thai Ministry of Public Health have now essentially banned smoking cannabis in all businesses, including cannabis shops and cafes. While some shops are currently being creative and have set up separate smoking rooms that are not technically in the venue, which is a grey area but technically currently legal, other venues that don’t have the space have protested the new rules.

According to business owners, banning smoking in shops only encourages customers, especially tourists, to smoke in public on beaches, at parks, at hotels that may bother other patrons, and more. They claim that if smoking is allowed at licensed cannabis shops that firmly check customer IDs and focus only on cannabis and not on other products then customers will not smoke in other areas, bothering those who don’t smoke.

Cannabis has been a hot-button issue in Thailand since it was decriminalized in June, with some politicians even wanting to ban the plant entirely again. Thailand banned smoking in shops to diminish recreational smoking, according to the Thai Ministry of Public Health, but many claim this move will backfire as people look for other places to smoke.

TPN notes that smoking in shops is allowed if under the jurisdiction and authority of a licensed medical practitioner, medical doctor, or traditional medical practitioner.

What do you think?

We look forward to hearing from you! Tell us on our social media channels, in the comments below, or if you prefer your comment to be private mail us at We will publish the results and select a variety of diverse responses early next week, as always!

Reference articles:

Pattaya Police and Department of Public Health inspect cannabis shops and warn about the current rules

Cannabis law disputes in Thailand continue, as pro and opposition groups debate over “Smoking Rooms” and other issues

New regulation controls cannabis flowers in Thailand

Mr. Adam Judd is the Co-owner of TPN Media since December 2017. He is originally from Washington D.C., America, but has also lived in Dallas, Sarasota, and Portsmouth. His background is in retail sales, HR, and operations management, and has written about news and Thailand for many years. He has lived in Pattaya for over nine years as a full-time resident, is well known locally and been visiting the country as a regular visitor for over a decade. His full contact information, including office contact information, can be found on our Contact Us page below. Stories please e-mail About Us: Contact Us: