THE SPREAD OF CBD TO HONG KONG AS CHINA RESISTS
The opposition of the Hong Kong government is clearing as the staunch opposition against cannabis prohibition through produced videos and posters plastered all through the subway walls. However, as it takes these liberal steps and approaches towards CBD, the demand by consumers keeps soaring.
CBD or cannabidiol is popping up in beverages as well as cosmetics. New businesses are seeing to it that they cater to customers who also hope that the substance will help ease their pain and also soothe anxieties. The first Hong Kong café named Found was opened in June has boosted monthly sales fivefold since it has been opened.
Rohit Dugar, the founder of Young Master, which is a brewery that recently introduced CBD-infused beer, said; the city's "CBD market is nascent, but early indications are that it has tremendous potential."
The boom mirrors surges in U.S. and Europe which stand in stark contrast with many other Asian countries which have remained conservative about the cannabis topic. Within the past month, China proposed that CBD should be ban in cosmetics, and also, the compound should not be allowed in food and drinks.
In 2018, Hong Kong stemmed the openness not to crack down on CBD. In the process of legalizing CBD or cannabis in Canada, Hong Kong's secretary for security declared in an open letter that CBD is not in any way classified as a dangerous drug. That is not the same with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and a trace of it is highly prohibited in products in Hong Kong. CBD has no altering perception properties of THC.
The speed at which CBD has been accepted in the city is quick. The Young Master's Beers who was introduced in August, currently sells close to 10,000 cans every month, while Dugar expects that sales will double by the coming year. Elixir, which is a coffee shop, has allowed customers to add CBD drops in their drinks, and the owner of City Wong disclosed that close to 300 persons tried that in February, which is far above just 10 that tried it in the first month. More local coming in has been seen after initially drawing ex-pats.
The local market has been discovered to still have some gray areas. Many companies are not allowed to have a claim of medical benefits until the products are classified as prescription medicine; meanwhile, there are currently no registered pharmaceutical products in Hong Kong which has CBD in them. However, the government has issued little guidance on the wording, and the rule is not very actively enforced. As CBD catches on, certain companies are looking for ways to expand. Mainland China may one day become a huge market given that its size and its openness to activities such as the cultivation of hemp but the CBD ban is an obstacle.
Altum international are careful to avoid getting tripped up by the regulations of China. Mullen said this, especially after the witness of the country's effective banning of online sales of e-cigarettes in 2019 when they flooded the market. The company plans to prioritize Japan, Taiwan, and Australia before focusing on china.
What will be the future of the Chinese Cannabis/Hemp/CBD market? Only time will tell.