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Thailand Legalises Marijuana – Implications for Employers

Thailand has taken a dramatic U-turn on cannabis use, prompted by vast overcrowding in Thai gaols because of drug related incarcerations.   Previously known for some of the harshest penalties, Thailand is embracing a new perspective on recreational cannabis usage and hopes to also build a lucrative agricultural industry as a by-product.

Employers need to be aware of the impact of the changes on human resource policies.   Previously, use/possession of cannabis in the workplace would be a crime, with implications covered in the employment work rules.  However, with the legalisation of cannabis, employers wishing to restrict usage/possession of cannabis in the workplace (similarly to alcohol) will need to review existing work rules.  If modifications are required - such as new disciplinary measures - the work rules may have to be renegotiated according to the Labor Relations Act in order to be effective.

Outlook for Employers: The Ministry of Labor has issued guidelines for employers to encourage the safe usage of cannabis by employees.  Additionally, companies with employees travelling throughout the ASEAN region are reminded of the strict laws in neighbouring countries (including the death penalty) for possession of cannabis.     

Published on: November 9, 2022

Authors: Michelle Swinden

Topics: China, Japan & Asia-Pacific, Employment Law

Michelle Swinden

Executive Director, Asia-Pacific, HR Policy Global

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Contact Michelle Swinden LinkedIn

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