Towards the end of July 2021, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) issued a notification under the Food Act regarding food products which contain cannabis or hemp parts as a publication in the country’s Government Gazette. The notification, among other things, sets forth the classification of food products containing cannabis or hemp parts (“Food Products”) and the related requirements with respect to food quality, standards and labeling requirements.
The key elements of this notification are as follows:
- The Food Products shall be classified as specially controlled foods under the Food Act.
- The Food Products shall adhere to the standards regarding THC content, CBD content, toxins and contaminants as prescribed in the related MOPH notifications and specific regulations applicable to each Food Product.
- Cannabis or hemp parts to be used in the Food Products must be legally sourced and their manufacturing, use of food additives and packaging must be in accordance with the MOPH notifications.
- The display of labels, health claims and nutrient content claims shall comply with the requirements set out in this notification and other applicable MOPH notifications. The MOPH also requires that certain details and warnings be displayed on the labels and (among other requirements) the term “cannabis” or “hemp” be displayed as part of the Food Products’ names.
- The manufacturing, importation or sale of infant foods, infant and toddler formula, food supplements for infants and toddlers and caffeinated beverages (among other food products), which contain cannabis or hemp parts, is prohibited.
Furthermore, in line with the foregoing and in order to ensure the safety of consumers, the MOPH also issued another notification which clarifies what it means in terms of the allowable content for Total THC and CBD to be considered “not present” in infant foods, infant and toddler formula, food supplements for infants and toddlers and caffeinated beverages (among other food products).
Peerapan Tungsuwan is a partner in and Head of the Healthcare Industry Group of Baker McKenzie’s Bangkok office.
Panyavith is a partner in the Corporate and M&A practice group, as well as the Healthcare & Life Sciences industry group. He is currently among the first practitioners in Thailand to assist market leading cannabis companies and large Thai conglomerates with their investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships, commercial agreements, and other pioneering projects in the medical cannabis and hemp business. He has published various articles and has been invited to speak at various seminars on cannabis-related topics. Panyavith also works closely with the Thai Food and Drug Administration to help develop the legal and investment framework in this area.
Praween Chantanakomes is a senior associate in the Compliance and Healthcare & Life Sciences groups at Baker McKenzie in Bangkok. Praween has been involved in assisting multinational clients with their operations in Thailand including analyzing restrictions, rules, and requirements with a special focus on pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. Additionally, he advises on corporate compliance, anti-bribery, the FCPA, and other investigations. He also has considerable experience in providing legal training in relation to clients’ compliance matters and other internal control mechanisms.
Prim has been working in the healthcare industry for 20 years, and has provided consultation in regulatory affairs, manufacturing licenses, and product registrations with the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other related organizations. Her focus is in the areas of pharmaceutical and biologic products, food, medical devices, cosmetics, hazardous substances and advertisement review and approval. Prim has advised a wide range of clients on the requirements and duties of importers, as well as FDA compliance.