I asked the Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department about the legality of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Hong Kong and below is what they replied to me:
I then contacted the Department of Health to ask about the licensing requirements, and this is what they told me:
Thank you very much for your mail.
2. Cannabis, Tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) and Cannabinol (CBN) are dangerous drugs controlled under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap. 134, Laws of Hong Kong). Any products contain cannabis, THC or CBN are also controlled under the law. Illicitly importing to Hong Kong with dangerous drugs constitutes a criminal offence with the maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of HK$5 million.
3. Under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138, Laws of Hong Kong), any pharmaceutical products containing Cannabidiol (CBD) must be registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Department of Health (DoH) in accordance with the requirements under before it can be sold or distributed. Manufacturers, importers or distributors of the pharmaceutical products must also obtain relevant licences from the Board.
4. Pursuant to the prevailing laws of Hong Kong, DoH is the legal authority to ascertain the control status of any pharmaceutical products and to administer the licensing control of these products. Whereas the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) acts as the front-line agency to prevent importation and exportation of any articles which are prohibited by law and/ or to ensure the licensing requirements for the importation/ exportation of any prohibited articles are fulfilled.
5 If you have questions on importation of any products which might involve pharmaceutical products and medicine, you are advised to contact DoH direct with relevant means of contact below-
Tel: (852) 2319 8458 (Drug Registration)
(852) 2319 8460 (Drug Import / Export)
Email: [email protected]
Website: Drug Office | 藥 物 辦 公 室
6. For details of prohibited imports in Hong Kong, please refer to the website of the C&ED-
Points I am now wondering about:Thank you for your email dated 4.4.2019.
Registered pharmaceutical products are subject to different level of control over their wholesale dealing as well as retail sale and appropriate licences or authorisation are required (e.g. For wholesale dealing: Wholesale Dealer Licence, Antibiotics Permit or Wholesale Dealer’s Licence for Dangerous Drugs; For retails sale, being an Authorized Seller of Poisons (Pharmacy) or Listed Seller of Poisons) according to the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138), Antibiotics Ordinance (Cap. 137) and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap. 134).
Under the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60), all imports and exports of pharmaceutical products must be covered by import and export licences. The importer/exporter should apply for import/export licence for the importation/exportation of pharmaceutical products for each shipment and the importer/exporter should hold relevant trader licence. Please note that no import/export licence would be issued to consumers.
You are advised to refer to the relevant provisions of the aforementioned ordinances at Hong Kong e-Legislation (Hong Kong e-Legislation) in particular substances controlled as poisons including cannabis and extracts of cannabis under the Poisons List stipulated in Schedule 10 of the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulations (Cap. 138A) at (https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/c...8402708125_001) and substances regulated as dangerous drugs specified in Part I of the First Schedule of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance including cannabinol and its tetrahydro derivatives (Cap. 134) at (https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/c...8402701417_001).
According to the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap. 134), "cannabis" means any plant, or any part of any plant, of the genus cannabis which contains tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) and the viable seeds of any plant of the genus cannabis. Part 1 of the First Schedule to the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance also listed "cannabis", "cannabinol and its tetrahydro derivatives; their 3-alkyl homologues" as dangerous drugs.
Please note that, although cannabidiol (CBD) is not listed under the Part I of the First Schedule to the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, extraction of CBD from cannabis usually includes low level of THC, which will render the CBD products a dangerous drug.
The maximum of penalty of trafficking in dangerous drug is a fine of $5,000,000 and life imprisonment. Illegal possession or sale of Part 1 poisons or unregistered pharmaceutical products is an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for two years for each offence.
Should you have any question when interpreting the legislation, please obtain legal advice or consult relevant expert.
According to the Drug Office website, there are no registered CBD products available in the Hong Kong market. Only a CBD product with a Certificate of Analysis (or other such document?) proving that the THC content of the product is zero percent would be considered legal in Hong Kong. To import a CBD products with “zero percent THC” certificate would still require registration and licensing, and such process is not available for consumers.
So it is not possible to legally obtain CBD products in Hong Kong; or can somebody reach a different interpretation?
And where should one start petitioning to have this point of law revised, since zero percent THC containing CDB oil should not be any more dangerous than say, olive oil?