Cannabis Marketing in Thailand: Opportunities and Challenges


It is evident that the green rush has begun in Thailand and is going to be here for a long time. Of course, the chance to make profit cannot be easily seized without recognizing the opportunities and challenges in this emerging Market. Having an in-depth understanding of the market’s possibilities and limitations will enable businesses to develop effective cannabis marketing strategies. If you want to identify this emerging market’s opportunities and challenges for your cannabis business growth, this article will assist with that endeavor.  

Cannabis has become increasingly accepted and legalized across the globe. Likewise, in Thailand, cannabis was decriminalized in June 2022, under the new Cannabis-Hemp Act. Moreover, possession, cultivation, distribution, sales, and consumption of all cannabis plant parts are now legal throughout the country, and this seems to significantly boost the country’s agriculture and tourism sector. 

Since decriminalization, the cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing in Thailand. Cannabis businesses have been significantly activated, and other cannabis extracts and products are becoming increasingly popular as well. Therefore, cannabis-related businesses have the chance to make serious profits now.

Cannabis Business Opportunities in Thailand 

Thailand became the first Asian country that has legalized cannabis. As a matter of fact, cannabis legalization has opened new business opportunities. The cannabis supply and demand is projected to significantly increase in the coming years. The market revenue is expected to reach 9.6 billion USD by 2030, meaning that more and more businesses will enter this industry to take those new revenue-generating opportunities. 

Cannabis Cultivation and Distribution 

Officially, the Thai government decriminalized the entire plant. Since 2022, possession, cultivation, distribution, consumption, and sales of entire cannabis plant parts have been legalized. This new legislation provides businesses broader options in cultivation and distribution of the plant. 

Depending on the operations of your business, different business plans may be needed. For cannabis cultivation businesses, they need to consider different types of growing and harvesting cannabis. There are three main types of cannabis cultivation, such as outdoor grow, greenhouse, and hydroponic grow. Each method has different merits and demerits, and requires different assets and technologies. Before starting or expanding cannabis cultivation business, they should consider which types of cultivation their company can most benefit from. 

For cannabis distribution businesses, they need different plans to process and retail raw cannabis. When processing raw cannabis, businesses need to implement specialized equipment and skills to make it into finished products. Afterward, businesses need to conduct further research on selecting retail locations where there is high demand for consumer products.   

Cannabis-infused Products and Services 

The Thai Food and Drug Administration officially delisted cannabis from Thailand’s Schedule 5 of the banned narcotics list. Cannabis extracts which contain less than 0.2% THC are now legal to distribute and consume without restrictions. Businesses can take this opportunity to produce various cannabis-infused products and services. 

Without additional formality, businesses can start selling cannabis buds and cannabis-infused products inside Thailand. There are different types of products businesses can produce using cannabis extracts, such as cannabis edibles, food supplements, and cosmetics. People may have different preferences and interests regarding cannabis consumption. In accordance with your target consumers’ needs and wants, you can decide your product sector.   

Aside from  material approaches using cannabis products, businesses can also approach the market with providing cannabis-related services. For instance, they can offer some workshops using cannabis. One possible option is to offer workshops on pot tasting, rolling joints, or brewing cannabis tea. Letting consumers actually participate in certain cannabis related activities may significantly attract their attention. Holding ‘yoga on high’ classes can also be a great option for businesses, in respect of the new popular lifestyle trend. 

Cannabis Business Possible Challenges in Thailand    

Cannabis businesses have a lot of potential to generate significant ROI. However, since the market is relatively new there are some challenges or limitations businesses might face during their operations.   

Business Operation Licenses 

There are various licenses required for cannabis business. The Thai government declared the regulation on requesting for the license to any business who wishes to import, export, grow, produce, and sell cannabis plants. The main objective of licensing is to reduce illegal cultivation and commercialization of the plant, and let people safely utilize cannabis. Businesses should be aware of the necessity of legal permission of cannabis related businesses. They should attentively go through all the requirements and certifications, and must obtain a license before entering the cannabis market. Be well acquainted with the situation that there might be some additional conditions needed  depending on the operations of your business.

Cannabis Marketing Qualifications

To be eligible for starting a cannabis business, the business must be owned by a Thai company. Foreign owned or majority foreign owned companies incorporated in Thailand are forbidden from importing, exporting, producing, posing and selling cannabis. This regulation is strictly executed under Section 46 of the Protection and Promotion of Traditional Thai Medicine Wisdom Act. Cannabis business in Thailand is only allowed to companies established under Thai law, which have Thai nationals who own at least ⅔ of the company capital and hold at least ⅔ of the director positions. Businesses should note that these ownership and director requirements are subject to the majority of cannabis business, including production, import, export, possession, and sales. 

Cannabis Advertising

Businesses may face difficulties advertising their cannabis products. There may be some sorts of governmental actions regulating and restricting advertising for the sales of cannabis. Businesses should be conscious about cannabis advertising limitations and keep themselves updated with the latest policies. Be aware of existing advertising rules and promote products accordingly within the confines of the restrictions. 

Cannabis Marketing Strategies                             

Under these certain circumstances, it would be critical for businesses to develop a effective cannabis marketing strategy. There are some tips below that help your businesses to prepare for their cannabis marketing.

Conduct a market research and define your target market

The first step in developing cannabis marketing strategies is to conduct market research. The analysis enables businesses to gather statistics and information they need. Consider conducting a formal market research of cannabis users in Thailand, and  identify their perspectives on cannabis. For instance, cannabis users’ purchase behavior, price preferred strains, and demographic data. Conducting further analysis about competitors or user experience can also give businesses significant insights in terms of specifying the niche of the industry. 

Define your target market afterward. Using the analysis, decide who your business is trying to reach with your product or service. Businesses should try putting themselves in their target customers’ shoes, and deeply understand the target cannabis market’s needs and wants. In this way, businesses can effectively plan how to market their cannabis products or services to their target customers.    

Branding your business 

Branding is a great way of distinguishing your business from the competitors. A good branding generates a memorable impression on consumers, and shapes favorable perception of a brand in their minds. Businesses must first identify what they want to present, and who they want to be to their target customers. Based on that, businesses have to develop brand strategies to position themselves accordingly and manage things that influence their positioning. 

Businesses can process branding by building visual identity, human relations, communities, and experiences. All these approaches are their cumulative assets that will be projected into their target customers’ minds and build perceptions ultimately. 

Branding can make significant impacts on your cannabis business. It can change how consumers perceive your business, moreover, forms familiarity and sympathy. Cannabis market and consumer preferences are constantly transforming. Therefore, businesses should consider branding as a perpetual process and they should evolve in order to keep pace.

Build Credibility with Cannabis Marketing  

Businesses should appeal to target customers about their products and services’ legality. Even in places where cannabis usage is legal, there may be some people who are not aware of it and afraid to use it. People may have a bad tendency or perception to mislabel cannabis businesses’ goods and services. This can possibly hurt businesses and damage their credibility. 

Businesses should remember that credibility is one of the most important factors in cannabis marketing. Building credibility is an effective way to reassure target customers and transform their negative perspectives. In credibility marketing, businesses can ensure that their products or services are produced and distributed within the confines of the law. They can emphasize credibility by demonstrating that their products or services are approved by the FDA.  Remember, it is crucial to be as transparent as possible when conducting credibility marketing. 

Educate your audience

Businesses can create educational content to share useful information or infographics to reach their target audience. Instead of direct promotion, connect with consumers by delivering educational materials such as information on how individuals can use cannabis safely. Conducting market surveys or sharing scientific information on cannabis can also benefit businesses. This way, businesses can effectively increase brand awareness and promote their businesses more effectively.

Cannabis Marketing with Influencer House

Here at Influencer House, we are a specialist marketing agency with a wide range of experience. We offer creative and suitable solutions to maximize your brand impact. We can help your brand efficiently reach your target audience and target market. Start making revenue with us in what is sure to be a highly competitive cannabis market. For more information, please visit our website or email us at inquiries@influencerhouse.co.th

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