Hong Kong bans CBD
On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong became a dependency of China as a Special Administrative Region. Today, Hong Kong is governed by a limited democracy and will not be able to regain its sovereignty until 2047. Both countries have very extreme anti-drug laws with harsh prison sentences and almost million-dollar fines.
But what is happening in Hong Kong with cannabis?
Until recently, CBD was regularized. The only problem was that only pure, 100% CBD, without the presence of any other cannabinoids, was allowed to be possessed and marketed. Which, besides being very difficult to produce, it is proven that cannabinoids act together and CBD cannot be expected to work the same if isolated from the rest. In 2020 the first café with CBD products opened in Hong Kong. These products were to be pure and not contain even a hint of THC.
In mid-2022, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee declared that CBD products would be banned in 2023. And he stated that cannabis should not be legalized, as it is a drug consumed by many young people and his idea is to try to prevent young people from accessing any drugs, including CBD.
Indeed, this year, in a swift crackdown on the cannabinoid CBD and products containing it, the Hong Kong government has announced its ban. The new policy will outlaw the consumption, possession or sale of any item containing cannabidiol (CBD), derived from cannabis plants – including hemp – classifying it among other drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines. CBD products include oils, tinctures and food supplements that are commonly used for their analgesic, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
The Hong Kong government was quick to act after the CBD ban went into effect, arresting the first person found in possession of the substance just two weeks later. Hong Kong customs officials detained a man after he was intercepted at customs on his way to pick up a package he was expecting from Denmark containing two vials of CBD oil.
According to Cáñamo magazine, possession of cannabis is illegal in Hong Kong and carries a penalty of up to seven years in jail and a fine of HK$1 million (US$128,000). Possession of cannabis plants and seeds can carry a fine equivalent to HK$638,000. Importing, exporting or producing cannabis can lead to life imprisonment and an equivalent fine.