After introducing the Inbriz Group in the last article, which opens the first offline CBD shop in China. In this article, let’s learn more about the cannabis law and contemporary market situation in China.
History of Cannabis in China
Cannabis in China is also known as hemp, line hemp, and marijuana. It is a kind of one-year-old cannabis genus herb sage that originated in China. China could be considered as the homeland of hemp and used by Chinese people for hundreds of centuries.
As early as 6000 BC, hemp has been discovered by humans. Around 2800 BC, hemp was used as food. In 1590, the medicinal function of hemp was recorded in the Compendium of Materia Medica. In 1856, the health benefits of hemp were included in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Then in 1953, the concept and functions of hemp were included in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia.
Due to the high flexibility and durability, hemp is a better source for high-quality fiber. Hence, hemp is normally used for textile and war equipment. For example, hemp is a vital material for bowstrings.
Hemp also commonly used for papermaking and medicine in ancient China. Both hemp and marijuana were considered as anesthetics. Chinese pharmacists used marijuana to treat menstrual cramps, rheumatism, malaria, constipation, and upset stomachs.
Is cannabis legal in China?
Cannabis is positively used in China with over 5000 years. However, because of the changes in the international relationship between China and oversea countries, cooperation between different countries was strengthened. In order to create a good environment for trade and communication, drugs, including cannabis is strictly controlled. In 1985, the Chinese government signed the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, a United Nations treaty designed to control psychoactive drugs. After then, cannabis was banned in China.
Is cannabis legal in China now? To a certain extent, the answer is no. Marijuana is completely banned. People who are found to have marijuana will be sentenced to 10-15 days of detention, and 2000 yuan as a penalty (about $145). But the cultivation of hemp is permitted in three provinces: Yunnan, Heilongjiang, and Jilin provinces.
CBD and THC are the two main components in cannabis plants. According to recent research on CBD, it is a safe and non-addictive substance that is excluded from the drug control list. However, CBD products such as CBD oils, capsules, vape juices are not allowed to sell in the Chinese market. Considering the value of CBD, several companies are approved to analysis and produce CBD products.
Also, CBD is not included in the Inventory of Existing Cosmetic Ingredients in China (IECIC). Thus, CBD is not allowed to use as a raw material in products. Cannabis companies could only extract CBD from hemp leaves rather than flowers. But, the Chinese government will approve the extraction from flowers in the future by thinking about the high content of CBD in hemp flowers.
Additionally, CBD cannot be used in medicine and food in China and prohibited the import of related products.
At present, CBD remains popular in the market of health care and beauty, but other products like CBD oil, CBD edibles, and CBD beverage still not allowed to sell in China yet.
The definition of industrial cannabis in China
The industrial cannabis in China refers to hemp, which is the only cannabis plant that allow to cultivate and applied in relevant products.
According to industrial marijuana analysis in the medical field, industrial cannabis only contains 0.3% THC. THC’s content is the biggest difference between recreational cannabis (which is generally called ‘drug’) and industrial cannabis.
At present, there is no uniform legal definition of industrial cannabis in China. Only provinces like Yunnan and Heilongjiang, where industrial marijuana was legalized, have local descriptions of industrial cannabis. According to the Regulations on the Licensing of Industrial Cannabis Cultivation and Processing in Yunnan Province, industrial cannabis has less than 0.3% THC, which is the same as the EU, Canada, and Australia. However, the Heilongjiang Province Anti-Drug Regulations hasn’t specified the content of THC.
The leading cannabis companies in China
Since 2800 BC, hemp has been grown in China for more than thousands of years. According to the China Agricultural Statistics Yearbook and statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization, the amount of industrial cannabis cultivation in China accounts for about 50% of the world’s total. Because of the legal cannabis cultivation and relevant policies to encourage the development of the cannabis industry, the market chain of industrial cannabis is gradually mature in Yunnan and Heilongjiang provinces.
Besides the Inbriz Group, Hanma Investment Group Co., Ltd. (HMI Group) is one of China’s leading companies. HMI group engages in the whole industrial chain investment of industrial hemp, from breeding, planting, and extraction. Moreover, it is the only legal investment company in China, focusing on the whole industrial chain of hemp.
The latest proposal about the industrial cannabis industry
The first proposal about the development of industrial cannabis was submitted by Yusen Zhao, a member of the national committee of CPPCC, during the third session of the 13th National People’ s Congress began.
This proposal aims to accelerate the development of the cannabis industry in China via four methods:
- Strengthen scientific and technological innovation in the cannabis industry
- Support the development of the medicinal cannabis industry
- Strengthen the advantages and leading process of the traditional textile industry
- Strengthen the policy and financial support policy
In conclusion, the cannabis industry has enormous potential, and the Chinese government will publish appropriate policies to promote the development of the cannabis industry to motivate the national economy.