Tag: hong kong

hong kong

Seven Years In Prison For Possessing CBD?

At a time when many parts of the world are trending in the right direction in regards to cannabis policy, Hong Kong is going in the opposite direction. Cannabidiol (CBD) is very popular in Hong Kong, with many CBD-based businesses operating in Hong Kong in recent years. Yet, despite the cannabinoid’s popularity and thriving industry surrounding it, Hong Kong is proceeding with plans to outlaw CBD.

As of the posting of this article, a search on for the term ‘CBD’ yields over 10,000 results of peer-reviewed studies, many of them demonstrating that CBD is indeed effective at treating various ailments and conditions. PubMed houses the results of peer-reviewed studies from all over the globe and is accessible to anyone with internet access.

Many of the studies on PubMed involving CBD have also found that the cannabinoid does not induce intoxication, unlike its cannabinoid counterpart tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Despite the growing body of research, Hong Kong’s government is still set to ban CBD, with plans to categorize it at the same level as heroin. Per Bangkok Post:

Hong Kong will outlaw cannabidiol (CBD) by February, the government announced on Thursday, placing it in the same category as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine with users facing hefty jail time.

The move is expected to wipe out businesses in the Chinese finance hub that had, until now, been able to sell CBD-infused products such as beers, coffee and health supplements.

The changes to Hong Kong’s drug control laws, pending a final round of vetting by the city’s rubber-stamp legislature, will take effect from Feb 1.

To describe the future penalty for CBD possession as being ‘hefty’ is likely not enough to properly put into context how horrific the penalty actually will be starting in February. According to Bangkok Post’s reporting, “anyone who possesses or consumes CBD faces up to seven years in jail and fines of up to HK 1 million (US $127,000).”

Seven years in prison for just having consumed CBD? That’s inhumane. What CBD prohibition enforcement as it pertains to individual patients and consumers will end up ultimately looking like in Hong Kong is something that we will all have to wait to see. Given how Hong Kong enforces many things, it’s likely a safe bet that invasions of privacy will occur, and that is unfortunate.

One thing that is seemingly guaranteed at this point is that the emerging CBD industry in Hong Kong is about to experience an enormous crackdown, and it would likely be wise for people that have CBD products to dispose of them in a manner that is safe. Otherwise they run the risk of serving many years in prison, in addition to having an enormous fine levied against them.

hong kong

hong kong china

Hong Kong Goes Backwards On CBD Policy

Hong Kong is planning on banning all cannabidiol (CBD) products, with the ban expected to go into effect in 2023. Will banning CBD really work?

John Lee, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said on Saturday, September 17, that the government will specifically outlaw CBD next year. Speaking as the opening speaker of an anti-drug event, Lee said that the HKSAR is ramping up its effort to “control drugs.” He also spoke of previous drug interdiction efforts by law enforcement agencies.

According to Lee, cannabis is a drug – and more worryingly, used by half of “drug abusers” in the country.

Last year, in 2021, the number of criminal cases related to cannabis rose by 15% and the amount of tonnage seized increased 150%. The number of reported “drug abusers” in Hong Kong halved in the last decade, dropping to 6,000 last year.

Hong Kong Moving with China

While drug use has always been harshly punished in Hong Kong, like the rest of Asia, the move to ban CBD is a bit of a surprise move. Possession of high THC plants and products can lead to a prison term of up to 7 years and a $125,000 fine. Drug trafficking can land the accused in prison for life.

It is more than likely that the HKSAR is following a Chinese mandate as the country comes directly under China’s rule.

Ironically, China is the world’s largest producer of hemp, although unauthorized cultivation and even seed possession can still lead to harsh punishment.

Marching Left (When the Rest of the World Is Going Right?)

It is unclear when and how cannabis reform will come to both China and Hong Kong. It is not as if there is no cannabis industry in this region of the world. Indeed, beyond hemp production, China is the largest global manufacturer (and exporter) of LED lighting used in commercial and indoor cultivation.

Thailand currently leads the region in progressing on cannabis reform, and even here there has been a controversy as the loosening of drug laws and restrictions has led to a boom in unauthorized production and sale, beyond strict medical use.

Other countries, such as Malaysia, are also studying the Thai example intently, and may move to legalize at least medical use next year.

For this reason, while China and now Hong Kong hold out as bastions of strict cannarepression, it is unlikely that other countries in the region will follow suit. This, no matter the backsliding in Hong Kong, is likely to drive the conversation forward, no matter the backlash that is, by its very nature and timing, is sure to be short lived.

hong kong

hong kong china

Hong Kong Taking First Steps To Crack Down On CBD

Earlier this summer government officials in Hong Kong announced that they are pursuing a plan to prohibit CBD entirely. The announcement came after it was determined that as many as one-third of CBD products in Hong Kong contain trace amounts of THC.

Hong Kong is home to a number of CBD companies and not just ones that infuse CBD into such products as drinks and foods. The City’s first CBD cafe opened in 2020 and since that time a number of other similar businesses have popped up in Hong Kong.

With a CBD ban winding up, businesses in Hong Kong that have built their models on the popular cannabinoid will likely have to close. Per Bangkok Post:

An unregulated market in goods containing the cannabis-derived compound has flourished since the city’s first CBD cafe, Found, opened in July 2020. The Asian financial hub now has dozens of cafes and shops selling CBD, but a government proposal to ban the substance before the end of the year puts those enterprises in jeopardy.

“With a full ban for CBD in Hong Kong, we would be forced to probably shelve the Found brand as it exists today,” said Fiachra Mullen, chief marketing officer at Altum International Ltd, which owns Found brand as it exists today,” said Fiachra Mullen, chief marketing officer at Altum International Ltd, which owns Found and supplies CBD products to other businesses in the city.

Several peer-reviewed studies have found that CBD is effective at treating a number of conditions and is safe for human consumption. For that matter, studies have also determined the same to be true for THC.

Hong Kong should be embracing the CBD industry, not seeking to destroy it. CBD is legal in a growing list of other countries, and the CBD market is worth billions of dollars at the international level. It’s a shame that reefer madness is ruining it in Hong Kong.

CBD, china, hong kong

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