Hong Kong's government implemented a ban on CBD Wednesday, designating it a "dangerous drug" in line with heroin and cocaine. File Photo by Jerome Favre/EPA-EFE
Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Hong Kong on Wednesday implemented a ban CBD, putting it in the same class as heroin and cocaine.
The new law prohibits CBD, or cannabidiol, under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance and imposes a penalty of up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $127,510 in prison for possession and consumption and life in prison and a fine of nearly $638,000 for trafficking and "illicit manufacturing."
The Hong Kong Police Force said that as of Jan. 29 it had collected more than 77,400 items including skin care products, edible oils and health supplements containing CBD in disposal boxes that were set up prior to the implementation of the law.
The government targeted CBD alleging it can't be separated from tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary psychoactive element that produces the high from cannabis, and that CBD can decompose and convert into CBD.
CBD vendors and users have argued that the amount of THC contained in the product is negligible and can't produce a similar high.
The ban also bars travelers from bringing CBD products with them.
Those traveling to Hong Kong with CBD items should declare them on arrival to prevent action against them, said Brian Chan, a divisional commander with the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department's Air Passenger Division.
"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, according to the Hong Kong Free Press.
While CBD is unregulated in the United States, Janet Woodcock, the principal deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration said last week that new regulations may be necessary given the concerns about long-term use and mistaken exposure.