Heilongjiang and Yunnan, two of China’s 34 provinces, have quietly entered the CBD game, according to a New York Times piece published on Saturday. Despite the fact that the country already supplies half of the world’s hemp, cashing in on CBD is still relatively new. Hemp has always been lawful in China because it does not create psychoactive intoxication. China not only produces half of the world’s cannabis, but it also owns half of the world’s cannabis patents — over 300 in total — largely for CBD extraction, processing, or manufacturing inventions.
Only 4 Companies Hold A Special License
Only four Chinese enterprises now have special permits to produce and process hemp for CBD. The New York Times writes that hemp growing has been permitted for over 36,000 hectares, and the revenue looks promising: growers can get $300 per acre. That’s more than farmers could make from other crops like rapeseed or flax, which may be used to make textiles or nutritional supplements.
Demand for Chinese hemp is expected to rise as the global CBD market grows to $22 billion by 2025, according to projections. China already has a significant share of the global cannabis market. Chinese manufacturers produce most of America’s glassware, vaporizer parts, and even hemp clothes and paper.
Hard Cannabis Laws In China
In 2015, international icon Jackie Chan pleaded with Beijing officials to save his son, Jaycee Chan, who was facing a life sentence for having 3.5 ounces of marijuana in his residence. After serving six months in prison, Beijing showed pity and freed Jaycee.
Matthew Fellows, an American college student, was nearly executed in China last year after reportedly sharing a joint with another student at a Chinese institution. After serving an eight-month prison sentence, he was released and returned to the United States.