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Law enforcement officials in Hong Kong have made their first CBD-related arrest since a new law took effect at the beginning of this month. Starting at the beginning of February, all CBD products became prohibited in Hong Kong, with CBD now being classified at the same level as heroin and methamphetamine in the jurisdiction. Hong Kong was recently home to one of the most thriving CBD industries on the planet, however, most CBD companies closed in the lead-up to the new law’s implementation.
The first man to face charges in Hong Kong under the new prohibition law was not reportedly selling CBD products. Rather, he had reportedly ordered a couple of bottles of ‘CBD skin oil’ from Denmark and was arrested when he was going to pick up the parcel containing the bottles. From there, authorities searched a locker at a clubhouse that allegedly belonged to the individual, and in the locker was more ‘CBD skin oil,’ along with four grams of flower. It’s unclear at this time whether the flower involved was floral CBD hemp or flower that contained THC. Regardless, the individual is now facing potentially up to seven years in prison and having to pay a fine of up to HK$1 million.
Why Would A Government Ban CBD?
As of the posting of this article, a search on PubMed.gov for the term ‘CBD’ yields over 10,500 results of peer-reviewed studies, many of them demonstrating that CBD is indeed effective at treating various ailments and conditions. PubMed houses the results of peer-reviewed studies from all over the world and is accessible to anyone with internet access. Many of the studies on PubMed that involve CBD have also found that the cannabinoid does not induce intoxication, unlike its cannabinoid counterpart THC.
Yet, despite its established wellness benefits and lack of inducing intoxication, CBD is still banned in Hong Kong, and at least one person is having their life ruined because of a new prohibition policy there. CBD products are bought and sold legally in many parts of the world now, and no meaningful public health issues have surfaced as a result. Thailand is a great example of CBD products being widely available and frequently consumed by people, with the sky remaining intact. Hong Kong prohibiting CBD is ridiculous, and penalizing people to the tune of up to 7 years in prison is even more ridiculous.
A Reminder Of The Need For Advocacy
The arrest in Hong Kong is truly unfortunate and serves as yet another reminder that cannabis advocates still have a lot of work to do to ensure that no one is subjected to a nation’s criminal justice system due to cannabis. Cannabis prohibition is a failed public policy, and that is true in Hong Kong just as it is true anywhere else. A public policy prohibiting CBD is particularly shameful.
If you live in Hong Kong or have plans to travel there, proceed with caution. As one person is already unfortunately learning, law enforcement officials in Hong Kong are not going to take any cannabis activity lightly. If ‘CBD skin oil’ is resulting in someone facing potentially the better part of a decade in prison, it’s likely safe to assume that there will be zero tolerance for any cannabis possession of any kind.
This article first appeared at Internationalcbc.com and is syndicated with special permission
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