By: Marie Scarci | January 31, 2023
On Wednesday, Hong Kong issued an official prohibition on cannabidiol (CBD), placing it alongside such controlled substances as heroin and cocaine. This move comes at a time when CBD is gaining traction globally for its numerous purported health benefits - though in the eyes of Hong Kong officials evidently, that's not enough to keep it legal.
In the new crackdown, CBD has been added to Hong Kong's Dangerous Drugs Ordinance alongside notorious substances like fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin. This brings the total number of outlawed chemicals on the list to over 200 - including ketamine and methamphetamine.
Despite its much-praised medicinal advantages, authorities in Hong Kong have been reluctant to legalize CBD due to its close association with the illegal compound THC. However, this has not stopped supporters from defending their stance that CBD does not contain a sufficient level of THC to cause psychoactive effects.
In an unexpected twist of events, the government has announced that CBD can decay into its psychotropic cousin, THC.
Bringing down the gavel on CBD, Hong Kong has issued incredibly harsh sentencing guidelines for traffickers and manufacturers - with a potential life sentence and HK$5 million fine being enforced. Those found in possession or consuming this popular medicinal substance could be facing up to seven years behind bars as well as fines of over one million dollars!
In the last few years, CBD products have made their way to Hong Kong with a vengeance! Unique cafes and bars are now jazzing up meals and drinks by infusing them with holistic substance. Furthermore, physical stores as well as online portals abound in offering everything from oils to gummies to facial creams - all of it enriched with CBD's healing properties.
As a new ban on CBD products looms, disposal boxes have been placed at government premises to help people safely discard their cannabinoid goods. In view of the upcoming criminalization, authorities are urging individuals to hand in any related items before it's too late.
On Tuesday, the government reported a massive haul, amassing 77,400 items, of health and beauty products including skincare items, edible oils, and dietary supplements.
Last week, Hong Kong customs authorities put out a stern warning to holidaymakers: leave all CBD products at your destination! Working with airlines across the city, customs officers have made sure leaflets are placed on every flight as a reminder that bringing these items into HK is strictly illegal. As vacationers embark on this summer season let's hope they stay away from trouble and follow local laws instead of packing their bags full of cannabis-based goodies.
If you're planning a trip to Hong Kong soon, make sure that any CBD products stay at home! Although there is not an officially sanctioned grace period for those bringing banned items into the region, it's best to err on the side of caution and leave any questionable substances behind.