The Hong Kong government ban on cannabidiol (CBD) will take effect next year. Starting February 1, 2023, CBD will come under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, placing it in the same category as drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Residents will get three months to use or dispose of their CBD products in special boxes.

CBD products, such as health supplements, coffee, oils, cocktails, beer are currently legal in Hong Kong, but must not contain any traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the main psychoactive component of cannabis that is illegal in the SAR. The government will outlaw CBD based on the following reasons:

  • The difficulty of isolating pure CBD from cannabis when CBD is extracted from it.
  • The risk of CBD being contaminated by THC during the production process.
  • CBD may naturally convert into THC when exposed to carbon dioxide in the air and water, even under normal storage conditions.
  • CBD can be converted into THC in a regular household kitchen using a simple process and easily available acidic products.

The public can dispose of their CBD products in boxes that will be placed at various locations across the city between October 27, 2022 and January 30, 2023. From February 1, 2023, anyone who manufactures CBD products can get a life imprisonment sentence and a HK$1 million fine. Those who possess and consume CBD can get a maximum of seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of HK$1 million.

Header image credits: Jasmine Filler via Flickr

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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