HONG KONG- Businesses that once sold Cannabidiol (CBD) pet products have either disposed of their remaining stock, shut down operations or plan to relocate after the Hong Kong government banned CBD in the country. 

As more pet parents become familiar with the potential benefits of CBD, providing anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and pain-relieving support for themselves, they develop a natural interest in using it for their pets, thus driving growth in this niche.

The total CBD ban, which came into effect in February this year, has taken various firms out of business as it now is a crime to possess, consume, traffic, and manufacture products with CBD in Hong Kong. 

Before the ban, Hong Kong only regulated the entry of pharmaceutical products containing CBD. 

According to Found, the first CBD cafe in Hong Kong, the Asian country had some of the least punitive laws around CBD, allowing for different CBD products to be sold in the country, as long as they did not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

Found, which since closed its doors, carried CBD pet products to ease common pet ailments and served Hong Kong’s pampered pets with CBD “puppuchinos” and cannabidiol-flavored treats. With the new CBD law, Found has since closed its doors but asked its clientele to follow its social media pages for updates.

Now, while exemptions and licenses for permitted use can be granted to select individuals like medical professionals, anyone found with CBD on their person can be jailed for at least seven years and fined HK$1 million (US$127,580), while CBD traffickers and manufacturers can face life imprisonment and HK$5 million (US$637,900) in fines. 

According to the Hong Kong government, even if products are labeled THC-free, there will still be traces of it that could contaminate a CBD product no matter the level of purification. 

Therefore, all suppliers and retailers of goods, including those in the pet food industry, are advised to ensure none of their products for Hong Kong contain any amounts of CBD and to review their product packaging and labels for CBD ingredients.

CBD pet products a trend at Global Pet Expo

Meanwhile, while Hong Kong bans CBD in pet products, this very supplement emerged to be a growth driver in this year’s Global Pet Expo.

The expo, which is the biggest pet industry trade show globally, featured CBD-containing products such as the Hemp Elements and Hemp Elements Plus lines from Zesty Paws. 

With a market size of around US$195 million in 2022 and an estimated CAGR of 31.8%, the popularity of CBD pet products continues to thrive.

Other trends that emerged from the expo include personalized nutrition, alternative formats of pet food, sustainability, and the rise of pre, post, and pro-biotics. 

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