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Hong Kong Makes First CBD Arrest, Man Could Get Life in Prison

By: Marie Scarci | February 9, 2023

Photo Credit: Customs

Hong Kong Customs has made its first CBD arrest, apprehending a 30-year-old man for shipping two small bottles of cannabidiol (CBD) - an illegal substance since February 1. Authorities are actively investigating this case to determine who is responsible and what consequences they will face.

Law enforcement has classified cannabidiol (CBD) on par with some of the most dangerous illegal drugs - including cocaine and heroin. This means those found guilty of possession could face severe punishments such as imprisonment or hefty fines.

Customs officials found that a parcel originating from Denmark contained roughly 60 milliliters of liquid bottled and declared as skin oil. Yesterday, Hong Kong Customs launched a controlled delivery operation near Yau Ma Tei and uncovered two additional bottles of CBD oil as well as four grams of cannabis buds in the suspect's place of work.

The press release stated that when officers conducted a search of the man's home they, "found a grinder containing traces of suspected cannabis buds inside the premises."

Upon investigation, the items seized are estimated to be worth HK$5,000 in the open market.

According to authorities in Hong Kong, the seemingly non-intoxicating compound CBD is still associated with THC, a cannabinoid responsible for cannabis' mind and mood-altering effects. Though some have contended that traces of THC found within certain types of CBD products are too small to cause any recreational side effects, it remains illegal due to its connotations.

Authorities set up disposal boxes to collect CBD products before they were criminalized. In total 77,400 items - largely skin care, edible oils, and supplements – were surrendered in order for them not to be classified as illegal substances.

On Wednesday, Customs issued a stern warning to the public: don't bring cannabis or CBD products into Hong Kong. Trafficking in dangerous drugs is considered an extremely serious offense – with hefty repercussions that could include life imprisonment and fines of up to HK$5 million!

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