The government of Hong Kong recently announced a ban on cannabidiol (CBD), putting it in the same category as dangerous drugs such as fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin. Hong Kong’s new CBD ban goes into effect today, February 1, 2023.
CBD is now regulated strictly under the city’s Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (DDO). The ban will significantly reduce access to CBD which could potentially create a black market in the city.
The possession, manufacture, trafficking, and sale of CBD in Hong Kong are now going to come with some hefty consequences. Hong Kong Customs has already announced in a press release that they “will take vigorous enforcement action to fiercely combat the related drug trafficking activities.”
The consequences a person faces if caught trafficking or illicitly manufacturing CBD include a maximum penalty of HK$5 million and life in prison. Meanwhile, persons caught possessing or consuming CBD in Hong Kong face a maximum penalty of HK$1 million and up to seven years in prison.
For these reasons, Hong Kong Customs is strongly encouraging travelers not to risk bringing any CBD products back to Hong Kong. The department also warns against purposeful or inadvertent drug muling, which the city has reportedly seen an increase in recent years.
Despite the United Nations recognizing that cannabinoids like CBD in cannabis and hemp have therapeutic potential in 2020, this new CBD ban in Hong Kong shows their government does not agree. Asia has traditionally been more conservative towards CBD and cannabis when compared to other regions such as North America, South America, and Europe. That sentiment seemed to be shifting when Thailand legalized cannabis in 2022, but this new Hong Kong CBD ban demonstrates otherwise.
As other countries around the world continue to evaluate the safety and efficacy of CBD, we may see Hong Kong’s government change its mind in the future. Until then, you’re better off leaving your CBD at home if you plan on taking a trip to Hong Kong any time soon.
Antonio is a cannabis & hemp cultivator and licensed personal trainer. He’s been working in the cannabis industry since 2016 as a grower, educator, and writer. He even founded his own regenerative hemp farm with his wife in Missouri and advises hemp farmers, dispensaries, and other businesses. In his free time, he enjoys running, hiking, binge-watching TV shows, and spending time with his 5 rescue animals.