CBD in Hong Kong : How is it looking and what’s the future for this (relatively) young industry?
Having recently written about one of the most famous spots for legal cannabis in the world (Amsterdam), I was then wondering if there is any equivalent of the coffee shop culture over here in this part of the world (Asia/South East Asia. After all, we’re known to have an Asian version of almost everything (cue Venice and its Eastern Counterpart – did you know that there are up to 13 Asian cities that claim to be the Venice of the East?).
A quick check with Uncle G (that’s Google, just to be clear) returned some pretty interesting results : Hong Kong. And so, the questions arose : what is the state of CBD in Hong Kong right now? Well, there’s good news, and not-so-good news.
The good news is, CBD in Hong Kong is (or rather was) in a pretty flourishing state : whether online or in stores, and even in cafe, bars and restaurants, it seemed that the products of CBD was quite easily and readily available and that the CBD movement has made enormous strides forward in the city.
In is nascent stage, the market was dominated by edibles, tinctures, and products targeted for muscle and pain relief. Since the Asian culture is also familiar with turning to herbs for pain relief, it was a pretty natural progression for CBD. Not long after that, different industries followed suit, such as the skincare industry as well as food and beverages. This lead to the establishement of Asia’s first CBD cafe and retail experience.
Naturally, with the opening and early success of Found, other similarly themed cafes began sprouting up and with more and more awareness being created, lead to more customer readiness and acceptance to CBD. Higher end products such as CBD infused skin care started to emerge in the market.
However, CBD in Hong Kong isn’t regulated, or at least hasn’t reached the levels of regulations similar to its Dutch counterpart. Recent developments has seen a proposed ban on CBD products in Hong Kong has the earlier entrepreneurs reeling. The Hong Kong government is seeking to ban the substance before the end of the year.
”Hong Kong authorities point out that the compound can naturally decompose or be intentionally converted into tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the substance that gives marijuana users a high, which is illegal in the city.”
When the ban was discussed on June 7, authorities said they intended “to table the relevant legislation within 2022.” For CBD-focused businesses, that may spell the beginning of the end. Is there a glimmer of light or hope for CBD in Hong Kong? Will the Asian countries ever reach the stage where is it on the same page of their Dutch counterpart : banning a substance isn’t the best way to control its spread?
Only time will tell. We’ll be following this progression keenly. And till then, keep on the metta.