The Opportunity of CBD High Street Retail in Asia

As the CBD market looks set to enter a rapid growth phase in certain parts of Asia, this article will look specifically at the high street retail opportunities that will come along with it.

Even with eCommerce growing in popularity worldwide and contributing to store-closures in some western countries like the UK, there are still some excellent opportunities for CBD brands to open or sell in retail stores in Asia.

We’ll look at the regions and countries that look most promising for CBD high street retail in Asia and the reasons why brick-and-mortar CBD shops could be popular and lucrative.


What are the Benefits of Opening a CBD Retail Store?

Before we dive into the list of best places to open a CBD retail store in Asia, first, here’s a quick look at some of the potential benefits of doing so:

    1. They Offer Convenience: CBD users are more likely to stay loyal to brands that have products readily available, both on and offline.
    2. They Offer Security: Some consumers feel more comfortable buying products in retail stores than providing their financial details online. Consumers are able to put a face to the brand rather than only shop online and rely on online resources for information.
    3. They Help You Advertise: Having your CBD products available in retail stores gives potential customers another way to discover your brand.
    4. They Are Local: People like to shop locally as it’s a way to support their community and gives people jobs in the area they live.
    5. They Offer Good Customer Service: Physical stores provide an opportunity to show off your customer service and allow customers to ask questions and get instant answers to any queries they have.


Where in Asia are the Best Opportunities for CBD High Street Retail?

Due to the differences in laws throughout Asia, CBD brands can’t just open a CBD shop wherever they please. However, the destinations we’ve listed below are all CBD-friendly and have good high-street retail opportunities.



Japan is a CBD-friendly destination in Asia that can provide good opportunities for CBD brands to open retail stores. As a result, many CBD shops and even cafes are popping up in its main cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kobe.

Foreign businesses are also allowed to open retail stores in Japan as long as they follow all the right procedures and laws, which is good news for international CBD brands looking to expand to Asia. The state of high-street retail in Japan is also very healthy, thanks to the high service standards and low penetration of eCommerce driving shoppers to physical stores.

More and more people are also starting to use CBD in Japan, and the CBD market is forecast to be worth over $2 billion by 2024, making it the second-largest CBD market in Asia, behind China. In addition, the country is relooking at how it perceives cannabis and related products like CBD, helping to remove its stigma and association with narcotics. 

Japan also has a long history of hemp cultivation which spans more than 10,000 years, which CBD brands can potentially incorporate into their marketing. All in all, Japan is one of the best destinations for CBD brands to open brick-and-mortar retail stores in Asia.


Hong Kong

Did you know that only about 25% of Hong Kong’s population currently shops online, and eCommerce accounts for only 11% of retail sales? That means most people do the vast majority of their shopping in brick-and-mortar high-street retail stores in Hong Kong.

While there are definitely signs that online shopping is  becoming more popular, high street retail still looks set to remain highly popular and accessible in this thriving cosmopolitan city. Hong Kong is also a CBD-friendly destination, as it has some of the most progressive CBD laws and regulations in Asia.

Hong Kong’s thriving high-street retail sector combined with its progressive CBD laws makes it one of the best places in Asia to consider opening a physical CBD store. You can already find numerous CBD stores throughout the city, and there are also many CBD cafes starting to open up.

There are many brands imported to Hong Kong that are not following local regulation, and so brands that are compliant and transparent stand out and will earn trust from consumers. 

All types of CBD products are allowed to be sold in Hong Kong, including beauty products, cosmetics, pet products, CBD oils, and edibles, as long as they do not contain any THC. This means CBD brands can set up different types of stores to target a specific niche, and there is a larger pool of existing retailers that can potentially stock and sell their products.



The final destination on our list is Thailand. While Thailand does have some of the strictest drug laws worldwide, CBD is now completely legal, and its growing CBD market is expected to be worth more than $670 million by 2024.

Thailand’s CBD scene recently created a bit of a buzz after The Pizza Company started selling what it calls its “Crazy Happy Pizza” at all of its branches. The Crazy Happy Pizza has a deep-fried cannabis leaf sitting on top of the toppings, as well as cannabis-infused into the dipping sauce and cheese crust! 

However, the cannabis used in the pizza will not get you high as it does not contain any THC, only CBD. CBD products are legal if they have less than 0.2% THC of their total weight. However, CBD has been legal for use in food and beverages since February 2021, as the government looks to adopt more progressive laws.

Hong Kong’s progressive stance on CBD products means setting up a CBD retail store in the “Fragrant Harbour” has got to be one of the most exciting options out there for CBD brands.

Japan, Hong Kong, and Thailand, all have great potential for the CBD market. Unfortunately, many Thai businesses are suffering due to the pandemic crushing the tourism industry. Ultimately, Hong Kong’s thriving retail sector paired with their laws and regulations around CBD provides the most potential.

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