History of CBD and Cannabis In – China
The increased legalization of cannabis and CBD seems to be occurring across the world, with many countries (largely located in North America and western Europe) moving their laws related to these substances in a more progressive direction. CBD has become big business, estimated to generate $22 billion worldwide by 2022. Meanwhile, many countries have legalized medical marijuana or lowered their penalties for catching someone with cannabis, if they haven’t just legalized the substance all together.
However, not all countries have moved in this direction. Generally speaking, the liberalization of marijuana laws lines up with the political culture of the country, and China is no exception. Despite its long history with hemp and marijuana, China remains firmly opposed to any sort of marijuana legalization, though that has not stopped the country from seeking to generate billions from the growth and production of marijuana.
History of Marijuana in China
From a historical perspective, China has always been a large producer of marijuana. Until 1934, the country produced and exported tons of hashish throughout the world. That trade was legally ended in 1934.
In 1985, China formally entered the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, meaning that it found marijuana to be a dangerous drug, thus making it illegal to be used.
Laws Related to Marijuana in China
All forms of marijuana use or possession remain illegal in China. Unlike other countries, China has not decriminalized its use either, and the sentence for being caught with marijuana may include a prison sentence of up to 15 days and a 2,000 yuan fine.
In 2019, China announced that the legalization of marijuana in other countries had led to an increase in attempts to smuggle drugs into their country, with marijuana users increasing 25% and noting that much of the increase of marijuana in the country came from international shipping. It blamed the legalization of marijuana in other parts of the world – such as the United States – for this increase.
CBD in China
Like many other countries around the world, China appears to be in a bit of a legal grey area here. According to multiple reports, CBD use remains illegal in China. However, there are also numerous anecdotal stories about CBD being available for purchase in the country.
Despite the prohibitions against the use of marijuana and CBD, the country has been growing marijuana and hemp for CBD and medical marijuana creation, investing billions of dollars into the field and securing hundreds of patients. Many of the funds and dollars investing in this area are directly owned by the Chinese government, meaning that the government is seeking to profit from this area – despite the fact that marijuana use remains illegal in China.