This Leafly Green Reason Is Why Travelers Are Flocking To Thailand Right Now
I just spent a week in Bangkok, Thailand.
For several decades, Thailand was among several Asian nations that were notorious for strict drug laws. In several cities around the country, however, the cops often turned a blind eye, focusing on more important crimes. The risk was greater than the reward, as it always is, in many countries in Asia if you do get caught selling, buying, or in possession of drugs. Including those that were already legalized in a growing number of nations around the world, such as marijuana.
But all that changed on June 9, 2022. Just over a year ago, Thailand decriminalized the sales of weed. Seemingly overnight, the country developed their very own brand of cannabis culture, with dispensaries popping up faster than you could say “pot”.
I went to see it for myself, and I was impressed, so to speak.
Thailand literally is the new stoner’s paradise.
Here’s what I observed in Bangkok:
- Dispensaries are a dime a dozen. There’s at least 2 dispensaries in every block, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. A dispensary exists for literally everyone: whether you know what strain you want and are looking for a quick puff, or you enjoy taking your time browsing several different strains, topicals, gummies, and edibles. Certain shops also had a great selection of CBD products including CBD for dogs.
Mind = blown.
On top of that, they also cater to various budgets. Some are higher end, while there are those that are mid-range as well as affordable.
Additionally, many dispensaries try to attract customers with other offerings. As this is a recreational market, there are a growing number of options to lure customers in, stay an hour or more, and unwind with friends. For example, there are cannabis shops located within bars, and there are those that have also created drinking and smoking spaces within them. If you like having a beer or a cocktail while you are high, by all means, feel welcome to do so.
There are also dispensaries that are pet-friendly, pride themselves on the art they design the place with, and much more. Seriously, the breadth of choices is staggering.
- Anyone can go into a dispensary and buy weed. As tourists, we were not once asked for any sort of identification in any of the many dispensaries we walked into. We were able to buy by the gram, topicals, and gummies. Several shops were even open until 2 or 4AM. Technically speaking, the law says that only adults aged 20 and up are allowed to buy cannabis in dispensaries, but not a single one asked for an ID.
- Many hotels are accommodating for pot consumers. However, it’s best to be sure. We were lucky since the hotel we booked unknowingly was situated infront of not one, but two dispensaries. Our room had a balcony, and we were able to smoke our joints outdoors. We stayed respectful and ensured that the smoke didn’t go indoors. Housekeeping was even courteous as we left an unfinished joint in our balcony, and when we got back home, they left it in its place while keeping everything else around it clean.
- It’s illegal to smoke in public, just like in other countries around the world where weed is legal. That said, it’s still common to smell weed wafting through public places, especially in al fresco bars where the locals gather. Thai cops are known to accept bribes if you are caught partaking in public, but we would rather leave that to the locals instead of risking getting into any kind of trouble as tourists.
Since you can smoke in private residences, hotel balconies, and even designated smoking areas within dispensaries, there really is no need to light up in public. Again, just like in other places, there will always be some people within the vicinity that do not like the smell of weed, or could be around with their kids.
- You can get weed that’s on par with the quality in North America, but the quality will also vary from one area or dispensary to another. Finding solid, potent, and fresh weed is fairly easy; the going rate is currently around 900 baht for a gram. However, there are also some dispensaries that sell it for under 700 baht. Just be sure to check for the quality based on the price you’re paying.
That said, the cost of weed is expected to decrease significantly as the Thai cannabis market continues to develop. This is at par with the rest of the mature cannabis markets around the world.
With over 5,000 dispensaries easily in Thailand right now, many of which are concentrated in Bangkok, this is something I would have never thought possible in just a year of legalization. Having said that, it’s downright impressive and I can only hope that other Asian countries will soon follow suit. Thailand is proof that countries can be effective when it comes to cannabis law reform, while helping thousands – even millions of people – in such a short matter of time.
Legalization of cannabis in Thailand has surely boosted the country’s tourism especially after COVID. But more importantly, it’s SO EASY to get the medicine you need without any hitches or red tape.