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 PubMed.gov 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.