Amid a mushrooming of businesses in recent years, Hong Kong dealers have been legally selling CBD in the form of oils, tinctures, and food and drinks. However, Hong Kong’s CBD industry will now face a wipe out as the government ban looms.
While cannabidiol doesn’t have psychoactive properties, consumers claim the compound relieves anxiety, stress and pain. Regular users of CBD must find other stress management outlets as Hong Kong looks to ban the compound as early as February 2023.
Hong Kong CBD ban: Consumers to face hefty jail time after January 30
Residents must toss out CBD products in ‘disposable boxes’ set up across the city until January 30, 2022. Anyone found guilty of possessing and consuming CBD products from February 1, 2023, will face a hefty jail time of seven years and a penalty of HK$1 million. In addition, those manufacturing CBD can get a life imprisonment sentence and a HK$1 million ((US$127,000) fine.
CBD banned due to lack of scientific evidence
CBD products such as coffee, oils, and health supplements are currently legal in Hong Kong. However, they do not contain traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the main psychoactive component illegal in the SAR. The government plans to outlaw CBD due to the lack of definitive scientific proof and for the following reasons:
- Isolating pure CBD from cannabis is complicated.
- CBD is at risk of being contaminated by THC during production.
- CBD may naturally convert into THC when exposed to carbon dioxide in the air and water.
- Converting CBD into THC is an easy kitchen procedure.
The ban will wipe out CBD businesses
CBD has become a multi-billion-dollar global industry, with products ranging from oils and cosmetics to snacks and gummies. This move will naturally wipe out business in the financial hub that has, until now, been able to sell CBD-infused products such as coffee and health supplements. The Asian financial hub has dozens of cafes and shops selling CBD, but the ban will jeopardise those enterprises. As a result, enterprises specialising in CBD-infused products are scrambling to determine what comes next.
The government is putting CBD alongside 200 substances classified as ‘dangerous drugs’, all carrying a strict penalty.
(Feature and hero image credit: Wikimedia Commons)