As Hong Kong takes its first steps towards cracking down on cannabidiol, businesses specialising in CBD-infused beers, coffees and other products are scrambling to work out what comes next.
An unregulated market in goods containing the cannabis-derived compound has flourished since the city’s first CBD cafe, Found, opened in July 2020. The Asian financial hub now has dozens of cafes and shops selling CBD, but a government proposal to ban the substance before the end of the year puts those enterprises in jeopardy.
“With a full ban for CBD in Hong Kong, we would be forced to probably shelve the Found brand as it exists today,” said Fiachra Mullen, chief marketing officer at Altum International Ltd, which owns Found and supplies CBD products to other businesses in the city.
While cannabidiol doesn’t have psychoactive properties, consumers claim the compound relieves anxiety, stress and pain. It’s become a multi-billion dollar global industry in recent years, with products ranging from snacks and gummies to oils and cosmetics. CBD is…