HONG KONG — Hong Kong banned cannabidiol (CBD) on Wednesday, listing it as a “dangerous drug” with stiff penalties for possession, despite a booming trade in such products in the city. Did.
Hong Kong bans CBD, aligning city with China’s ban
CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical derived from the cannabis plant and marketed as a stress reliever, is legal in Hong Kong, with cafes, retailers, breweries and even spas offering products containing it. was doing.
But now, possession and consumption of this substance is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine worth $127,000.
Officials said CBD could be converted into tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, the chemical that causes most of the effects of marijuana and is considered harmful.William of the Hong Kong Hospital Pharmacists Association Chuy said the ban is essential to block “legal loopholes” that could be exploited by “illegal operators who convert CBD to THC using strong acid at home.”
of The process of converting CBD to THC This is a complex one that typically requires a full laboratory environment and is not easily performed by an amateur.
Found, Hong Kong’s first CBD cafe, opened in 2020 and quickly became a hit with CBD-infused kombucha, massage oils, cookies and coffee.
The Found’s team said, “The positive response from thousands of visitors to the Found, both offline and online, indicates that the need for natural health alternatives is real, and that CBD is helping to reduce the stresses of everyday life. It has proven to be useful in dealing with ,” the team at Found wrote.Instagram director Say goodbye to your customers.
Fiachra Mullen, chief marketing officer at Altum International, which owns Found, said the café has seen 20-fold business growth since opening, but he declined to provide precise financial data. He added that Altum is not only focused on supplying other key markets in Australia and New Zealand, but is open to opportunities across the rest of Asia Pacific.
Dennis Tam, who suffered from depression and anxiety, was introduced to CBD products by his partner several years ago. After experiencing the mental and physical benefits, Tam began selling CBD-infused products through online retailer Hevens Please in 2018.
Over the past two years, Tam has witnessed the general acceptance of CBD as a form of natural healing. Some of her customers who have relied on CBD products said they are now concerned about how to proceed. said.
“It is unfortunate that the government has banned an industry that has bright business prospects that promote health,” she said. “But it’s great that the public’s perception of the definition of drugs has changed.”
However, Albert Chan, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Hong Kong, said there was insufficient clinical evidence to support whether CBD could reduce stress and prevent eczema, suggesting that for individual users it could be a “placebo effect.” ”, he said.
Studies suggest that CBD can help with anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain, making it the strongest scientific evidence for its effectiveness in treating childhood epilepsy.according to Harvard Medical Schoolmore research needs to be done on its benefits.
The Hong Kong government set up bins for voluntary disposal of CBD products before the ban took effect. Products have been collected.
Dunn, who spoke on the condition that he not use his full name due to security concerns, has been buying CBD coffee beans and honey for the past three years and said the ban was ridiculous. He said he likes CBD coffee because it removes side effects and keeps him awake.
“Look at how many countries are relaxing their laws on legalizing marijuana and its products, while the Hong Kong government is always backtracking.
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