Just two years ago, cannabidiol (CBD) skyrocketed in popularity in Hong Kong, the southern Chinese special administrative region (SAR). Businesses were quick to get on the CBD bandwagon, since the non-psychoactive compound was becoming more popular in cafés, restaurants, and retail outlets throughout the globe.
However, on Wednesday, February 1st, CBD was made illegal in Hong Kong and classified as a dangerous substance on par with heroin and fentanyl.
As in mainland China, where CBD was prohibited in 2022, the new restriction reflects a zero-tolerance approach against harmful narcotics.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound present the marijuana plant, but is non-psychoactive, and is legal in most of the world. CBD is advertised for a wide variety of uses, from relieving pain and inflammation to calming anxious thoughts, despite the fact that it has no psychoactive properties and hence cannot get you high.
Hong Kong legislators were presented with a proposed ban on CBD last June. The ban of CBD in Hong Kong went into effect on February 1. Now in Hong Kong, CBD is considered a dangerous drug like heroin, and one can face major life-changing penalties if caught with any amount of the medicinal compound.
All CBD use or possession is now punishable by seven years in jail and a fine of 1 million Hong Kong dollars (value of $127,607 USD).
Producing, importing, or shipping CBD in Hong Kong carries a mandatory life sentence and a 5 million Hong Kong dollar (value of $638,000 USD) fine.
The government has warned tourists not to take any chances by purchasing these items or bringing them back to Hong Kong. Doing so could cause one to face up to 7 years in prison.
Now, Hong Kong’s CBD restrictions have the same penalties and regulations as THC products.