In recent years, CBD products have gained popularity in Hong Kong, with themed cafes and bars offering CBD-infused food and drinks. Physical shops and online stores also popped up selling CBD oils, gummy bears, moisturisers and other products.
77,400 CBD products collected
Ahead of the ban, authorities placed disposal boxes at selected government premises to “facilitate the disposal of CBD products,” encouraging members of the public to surrender them before they were criminalised.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the government said 77,400 items – mainly skincare products, edible oils and health supplements – were collected.
Brian Chan, a divisional commander at the Customs and Excise Department’s Air Passenger Division, said travellers in possession of CBD products should declare them upon arrival.
“We will investigate the cases and get legal advice from the Department of Justice and determine if there is enough evidence to conduct further actions,” Chan said.
He did not directly answer a question on whether there would be a grace period during which people who enter Hong Kong with CBD products would not be prosecuted.
Asked if he had any advice for how people can avoid unknowingly buying CBD products overseas and bringing it back to the city, especially when labels indicating that they contain the cannabis compound are unclear, Chan said: “When in doubt, don’t go for it. If you don’t understand what it is, don’t buy it. Don’t take it. It’s not worth it.”
The Narcotics Division of the Security Bureau consulted representatives from the medical, social welfare and commercial sectors on the proposed ban in June, with a majority supportive of prohibition.
Separately, the government invited “industry stakeholders” to provide “written submissions.” Among those received were suggestions that CBD products be allowed for use by medical professionals, and doubts on the scientific research on which the case for controlling CBD is based, according to a government document.
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