Hong Kong plans to ban CBD and CBD products starting this Wednesday. Penalties for trafficking CBD into Hong Kong could result in penalties as harsh as life imprisonment.
“Starting from February 1, cannabidiol, aka CBD, will be regarded as a dangerous drug and will be supervised and managed by the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance,” Au-Yeung Ka-lun, a Hong Kong customs intelligence officer, said during a news briefing, AP reported.
“As of then, transporting CBD for sale, including import and export, as well as producing, possessing and consuming CBD, will be illegal,” Au-Yeung continued.
Penalties for smuggling, distributing, or selling CBD in Hong Kong can fetch fines of more than $600,000. The most severe punishments include life in prison.
Hong Kong’s decision to ban CBD may shock cannabis patients in the West, who can legally order CBD products through the mail or pick up a CBD product at the nearest convenience store.
Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration announced it would not issue new regulations for CBD, particularly for CBD’s use in food and beverage products. Instead, the FDA said regulations should be left to Congress.
In the US, one CBD-based medication is approved by the FDA. Epidiolex, which is essentially a pharmaceutical-grade CBD tincture, is approved for treating certain rare seizure disorders. In 2020, Epidiolex was removed from the list of Controlled Substances, meaning doctors could prescribe it for off-label uses.
CBD was essentially legalized in the US back in 2018 with the passage of the federal farm bill. The bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, the primary plant source for CBD.
Meanwhile, other Asian countries are liberalizing their cannabis laws. South Korea now permits cannabis, so long as it’s used for legitimate medical purposes.
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