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Why Hong Kong is no gateway to China in legalising marijuana

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I doubt most Hongkongers even got a whiff of it, but the city hosted its first international Cannabis Investor Symposium this week.

Local authorities turned up their noses at an invitation to attend and the organisers had to put a “purely informational” spin on it, cautioning participants against openly appreciative activity such as pot smoking to avoid running foul of Hong Kong’s puritanical laws against marijuana.

Cannabis is classified as a dangerous drug here and peddling it can land you in jail for life on trafficking charges. Even a little spliff in your possession or teeny toke carries the risk of seven years behind bars and a fine of HK$1 million (US$127,700).

Nevertheless, representatives of some of the world’s leading cannabis companies attending the event were out to persuade potential investors to join an exploding industry that is forecast to grow into a US$57 billion cash cow over the next decade. They called for medicinal use of marijuana to be legalised and floated the idea of taking out IPOs for cannabis companies.

“Cannabis is not a drug. It’s a great medicine and is natural. We have really started to revolutionise how we think about cannabis,”........

© South China Morning Post