Recreational marijuana is illegal in Laos, while medical marijuana with CBD as its main ingredient is now available. The deregulation began in January 2023. Previously, the use, sale, and possession of marijuana was prohibited in Laos, with heavy penalties for violations.
The regulations have been greatly eased since 2023, which may be fresh in many people’s memories.
Although the use of marijuana for medical purposes has been approved, the use of marijuana for recreational use is still prohibited, and since 2010, the number of police seizures has been increasing.
If a foreigner smokes marijuana in Laos, he or she will be fined $500 and have his or her passport taken away until the fine is paid.
Laos has taken a tough stance against marijuana, but in December 2022, the government issued an agreement to lift the ban on the cultivation and sale of medical and commercial marijuana, which went into effect in January 2023.
Legalization of medical and recreational marijuana is already underway in Europe, the U.S., Canada, and other countries, and research has shown that the cannabinoids in cannabis have beneficial medical and health effects.
The Lao Ministry of Health proposed to the government in 2018 to lift the ban on the use of medical marijuana; in 2021, Canada and the Lao Ministry of Health’s Institute of Traditional Medicines agreed to jointly build a cannabis cultivation, analysis, and extraction facility, which is currently under construction.
In the Asian region, Thailand and China have eased their cannabis regulations, and this deregulation is expected to follow this trend.
CBD is legal
CBD is legal in Laos due to deregulation.
CBD products in Laos must be registered with the Food and Drug Administration, and health foods, cosmetics, and CBD oil can be sold to the general public after registration.
CBD-based medical and commercial products must contain less than 1% THC by dry weight or 0.2% of the product.
Food products and CBD oil registered with the Food and Drug Administration are also allowed for general use, and the CBD market in Laos is expected to grow.
Approves regulated production of cannabis
In line with the deregulation of cannabis-related products, conditions have been set for the cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale of cannabis.
・The THC content of CBD-based medical and commercial products must contain no more than 1% of dried flowers or less than 0.2% of the product.
・Products must contain no more than 0.2% THC and CBD must contain at least 4 times the amount of THC.
・The technician must be a Laotian citizen and resident. In addition, the technician must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in pharmacology or chemistry and at least 5 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
・Seeds to be grown must be registered seeds only. Seed imports must be limited to 52,000 seeds or 2.2 kg per hectare of cultivated area.
The importation of seeds must be limited to 52,000 seeds or 2.2 kg per hectare of cultivated area.
We have introduced the marijuana situation in Laos.
Laos used to take a strict stance against marijuana, but from 2023, marijuana-related products have been legalized for medical purposes.
With the legalization of both medical and commercial use, Laos can be said to be one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to deregulate.
The CBD market is expected to grow as CBD products will be allowed to be sold to the general public.