Criminalizing cannabidiol: Hong Kong forces citizens to bin CBD or face heroin-level prison sentence  

Nutrition Insight

Hong Kong is preparing to criminalize cannabidiol (CBD) use and possession from February 1, 2023. The city has already set up “CBD disposal bins” to ease the process of ditching products containing CBD. Consumers who fail to comply with the new legislation could face up to seven years in prison, a punishment corresponding to jail time for possessing heroin or cocaine. CBD will be added to the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance and join a list of 200 banned substances, including cocaine, heroin, ketamine, methamphetamine and fentanyl. “The trade and the public should arrange early disposal of any CBD products in their possession to avoid contravention of the law,” says a government spokesperson.

Meanwhile, John Lee, former police officer and Hong Kong’s chief executive, stated in a speech before the decision: “Cannabis is a drug, and the government will categorize CBD as a dangerous drug to protect the public’s health.”

According to the Hong Kong Police, possessing, smoking, inhaling, ingesting or injecting any substances in the ordinance will result in a HK$1 million (US$127,400) fine and seven years in prison. Trafficking or manufacturing will result in a fine of HK$5 million (US$637,000) and imprisonment for life.

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