Hong Kong has recently inaugurated a cannabis cafe in its neighborhood of Po Hing Fong located in Sheung Wan. The newly launched cafe and boutique is named Found Cafe by the owners, and is allegedly the first of its kind retail space in the region.
Legal Status of Cannabis in Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s law classifies cannabis under controlled substances. The Dangerous Drug Ordinance has prohibited the possession, sale, transportation and production of cannabis since 1969 in the country.
To some, the operation of Found may come as a surprise after knowing the illegal status of the plant in the country. It is important to note here however, that the cannabis plant contains hundreds of compounds in it and not all of them have psychoactive effects.
Cannabidiol is one such compound of the cannabis plant which is free from psychoactive properties. That being the case, Hong Kong law considers CBD ( short for cannabidiol) as 100% legal.
However, the country’s legislation shows no mercy towards its sister compound THC. This is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that gives a euphoric feeling to the users. Although both CBD and THC have a very similar chemical structure, the latter joins with CB1 receptors of the brain, creating the ‘high’ sensation. Contrary to this, CBD binds very weakly to the CB1 receptors, allowing users to enjoy the benefits of the drug, without getting high.
Other countries like United States and parts of Europe have allowed CBD products to carry a trace amount of THC (0.3%) . Hong Kong’s laws does not permit even this amount. This is why businessmen operating Hong Kong’s industry have to assure their CBD extracts are pure enough to match government standards.
Most of the customers in Hong Kong use CBD to help with insomnia, epilepsy, or just