Travelogue: Cannabis in Bangkok (Thailand 2022)

At the beginning of December 2022, we took a vacation in Singapore. For various reasons, we decided to bring forward the first leg of our return flight via Bangkok (Thailand) and thus spontaneously take the opportunity to explore the Asian metropolis Bangkok with its over 8 million inhabitants for a few days. Besides impressive temples, skyscrapers, huge markets and street food in almost every street, there is recently also more and more cannabis in Bangkok!

The difference in the handling of cannabis could not be greater between the two Southeast Asian countries: When entering Singapore, you are informed in red letters that any handling of drugs is strictly forbidden and drug smuggling is even punishable by death! In Bangkok, however, a lot of cannabis stores now characterize the cityscape. How did it come to this and how do you experience Thailand's young cannabis scene as a tourist? A travelogue. (Continues below.)

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Arrival and high-end dispensary "High Got You".

Our flight landed in Bangkok in the late afternoon. After about 45 minutes of cab ride from the airport to the city, we arrived at our accommodation. In the cab, we could already make out a few hemp stores as we drove by, but we didn't just go to any one, we paid a visit to a store called “High Got You”. The store was located in the “hipster neighborhood” of Ekkamai and, according to the website, also offered vaporizers. On the shelves were numerous elaborately designed bongs, and on the counter were flowers of the current offerings with magnifying glasses and labels. In terms of design, it seemed like an Apple Store.



The gram of blossoms here cost about 700 baht, which is the equivalent of about 18 francs. That is almost twice as expensive as in the planned “Züri Can” pilot project.

Unfortunately, there was only one electric vaporizer in stock at “High Got You” during our visit: the Yocan Vane, a cheap model that cost less than 2 grams of flower. In general, electric vaporizers are not (yet?) available on every corner in Bangkok. More popular there instead seems to be the Dynavap, a non-electric vaporizer that you have to bring to the right temperature with fire or external induction heating coil.

Surprisingly, it is not so easy to find vaporizers in Thailand. This is because all types of vapes are basically banned in Thailand. The ban was probably enacted with nicotine vapes in mind, but now strictly speaking includes cannabis vaporizers as well. Where you still find vaporizers, so it is illegal imports. This is also reflected in the higher price of higher-quality devices in other stores.

Equipped with THC flowers and vaporizer, we went in search of a place to consume, because consumption is prohibited in public. This is also the case in some other countries with legal cannabis and always presents tourists with logistical challenges. In a rooftop bar within walking distance of the dispensary, we first fortified ourselves with a portion of fried rice and then asked the bartender if it was allowed to smoke pot on the terrace? The bartender advised against it and recommended to consume in the stairwell instead. He was probably worried that we would disturb other guests with smoke, but with the low vapor emissions of an electric vaporizer, that's not a problem.

Unfortunately, the cheap vaporizer turned out to be barely usable. Sure it got hot, but it hardly produced any vapor, which also did not taste fine and had little effect and left an unpleasant scratch in the throat.

Day 2: Small enthusiast store "Smilemacy".

The next day, we went to the next hemp store. This time we went to “Smilemacy”, a much smaller store, which had high-quality vaporizers from Storz & Bickel in stock, which I confirmed for safety's sake again via a short message via Messenger app. In the store, the owner “Dear” greeted us. From the selection of products, the expertise and his whole manner, you quickly noticed that here is an enthusiast in front of you.


The selection of buds was small but nice: There was one CBD strain and at least one indica, hybrid and sativa strain each.


The “Super Silver Haze” (Dear's recommendation) tasted fine and had a pleasant effect. The flower was quite compact and not overly covered with THC resin. A solid performance, but with room for improvement (compared to, for example, the quality of cannabis in California [USA]), especially for this price.

At the following members' meeting, it was remarked, “The flower looks typical for the use of PGRs (Plant Growth Regulators)!”


We asked Dear what places were allowed to smoke pot in Bangkok? He said, actually, anywhere smoking is allowed (a contradiction to our experience the night before). Outside in front of his store it would be okay in any case.

Consumption possibility: "Heaven Of Weed".

To explore the surroundings a little bit, we went instead further down the street and there by chance stumbled upon a store called “Heaven Of Weed”. There you could not only buy grams of THC flowers, but also sit down comfortably like in a café and consume.

Most varieties cost about 800 baht, which is about 21 francs. This is a bit more expensive in comparison, but in the other stores you could not consume in the store, but only outside. With the high temperatures in Bangkok (30 degrees in the cold season) one appreciates a well air-conditioned interior!

In the “Heaven Of Weed” there was unfortunately not a single CBD variety. The seller said that CBD flowers are also legal, but a little rarer to find in stores.


Below the store was a restaurant where you could order food and drinks, which were then delivered upstairs to the consumption room.


Legalization history

In the following days we took two tours: A bicycle tour on the man-made island “Bang Kachao” and a train tour to the “Damnoen Saduak Floating Market”. Both tour guides told the respective group on their own that cannabis was recently legalized in Thailand. One said that the development had surprised him: Cannabis had generally had a bad reputation among the population - it was considered worse than cocaine. He speculated that the low prices of home-grown cannabis made it the drug of choice for poorer people. With the second tour guide, we asked why it was legalized. He replied that cannabis was actually legalized for medicinal purposes and then there was a loophole, which was now being used. He joked, “Thailand used to be known as 'Land of the smile', now we are becoming the 'Land of the laugh'!”

Upon further investigation, one finds that the tour guide's narrative was not entirely accurate: it was not a loophole, but an intentional change.

With an election campaign that included cannabis legalization, Thailand's Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul was elected in 2019. Cannabis was initially legalized for medical use in Thailand that same year. Then, on June 9, 2022, cannabis flowers were removed from the narcotics list, which also legalized consumption for pleasure. This is really only about flowers: Any extracts such as THC oils or THC hashish cannot be found, but remain illegal.

However, there is a spark of truth in the phrase “loophole” after all, because what does not yet exist is an explicit legal regulation that lays down more precise rules. Therefore, the current phase of the cannabis scene in Thailand is rather to be seen as a “Wild West” phase, which could possibly change again after the first legislation in the coming months.

Impressions during the trip

Well-known attractions in Bangkok are certainly the numerous markets. Impressive they all are, the evening markets like the weekend markets, those on the street, but also those in the huge shopping malls. Often you can see stalls there that offer hemp products such as CBD oils for medicinal purposes.


Not to be missed on a visit to Bangkok is a detour to “Khao San Road”, a busy street with high tourist traffic in the so-called “backpacker district”. There, in the bustling nightlife, we encountered various cannabis stands and bars. In front of one cannabis store there were three employees trying to lure us in with the help of the menu. A few corners away, we saw a couple of men strolling through the street with a bong in their hands.



If Thailand appeals to you as a vacation destination, there is now another reason to visit. It's an exciting time and I found it very interesting to see the burgeoning cannabis scene. However, if you're more interested in a cannabis vacation than Thailand, I'd recommend Amsterdam, which is much closer.

Compared to Switzerland, the two approaches to legalization turn out very differently: Thailand simply legalized with a comparatively quick change. Opponents of legalization call this a rush job and even demand that the change be reversed. How the coming regulation will look like over the next months and years and how successful the model “legalization first, details later” will be, will be interesting to observe.

This is a problem that the Swiss approach wants to avoid at all costs: In years of pilot tests, enough knowledge is to be gathered first to then start with a watertight model - but the fact that users will still get into legal problems will be accepted for years to come…

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Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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