Chic and stylish, "Found", located in Hong Kong's Sheung Wan district, is both a coffee shop and a CBD store. Customers can enjoy CBD-infused coffee, tea, or beer, or just buy different CBD products inside. The store offers several different CBD oils, powders to make CBD-infused foods or drinks, and even pet products.
CBD is legal in Hong Kong provided it is not accompanied by any traces of THC ( 0% ). Anyone who sells or buys a product containing THC is liable to 7 years' imprisonment and a fine of HK$2,000,000.
Faced with these extreme restrictions, Found has had to source totally pure CBD for all of its products, though Mullen is well aware that full-spectrum cannabinoids would be even more potent.
Like many parts of the world, CBD has become fashionable in Hong Kong with groups practicing yoga, mindfulness and other self-care. Mullen also believes that CBD has become useful in dealing with all the problems that come with 2020.
"A lot of it is due to the year Hong Kong has had with the protests and the pandemic. A lot of customers take it early in the morning with their coffee before they leave the house, it helps them stay alert and makes them a little more resilient to whatever is going on that day.
Yet while the store is doing well and CBD is popular, in part because herbal remedies have credibility in Hong Kong, there is still a stigma against cannabis, even non-psychoactive cannabis, that is not easy to shake, and Mullen fears he will not be able to reach a full spectrum of customers.
"There's a large portion of the population I'm not reaching," Mullen said.
Yet there is hope for CBD use in Hong Kong. Throughout Asia, cannabis is often part of ancient traditional herbal remedies throughout history. However, all the criminalization of cannabis over the years has taken its toll, and now, as in North America, many people doubt that it benefits. This is especially true with the older generation, but Mullen aims to change that.
"My dream profile client is a 65-year-old Hong Kong woman," Mullen confesses. "If I can get her and her husband in and learn, or even just hear the word 'cannabis,' and not run a mile, then it's mission accomplished."
Hong Kong, and the rest of Asia, will be watching to see how this CBD coffee is received and what the future of CBD and cannabis in the East will look like.