Japan is not a country for cannabis connoisseurs. Though one of the most culturally vibrant and invigorating places in the world to visit, the country’s views on marijuana are retrograde at best. On a national perspective, Japan considers marijuana as negatively as the country’s most-abused drug, speed (methamphetamine). Get caught with less than a gram of cannabis and expect spend five years in prison.
So it’s rather startling to discover the first cannabis-related billboard appeared in a Tokyo subway station last month. In the Omotesando train station, passersby would discover a sign promoting Elixinol Hemp Oil, which contains pure CBD extract. While CBD is legal at a federal level in Japan, no companies have been allowed to advertise the product until now.
Japan – The first ever billboard campaign promoting a cannabis product in Japan was installed in Tokyo’s Omotesando train station earlier this month promoting Elixinol Hemp Oil, which… https://t.co/dXLjzmvorX
— *•.¸.𝐻𝑒𝓂𝓅 𝐸𝒹𝒾𝒻𝒾𝒸𝒶𝓉𝒾🐨𝓃.¸.•* (@HempEdification) May 31, 2018
“Japan has a very strong cultural connection with hemp, and its use by our people dates back to ancient times,” Makoto Matsumaru, CEO of Elixinol Japan, told Branding In Asia. “Elixinol has been supplying hemp oil products to Japan for over three years, however up until now we have not been able to actively market the product range.”
“Approval to commercially advertise our Hemp Oil Drops is a major win for the hemp industry and comes after many months of working with the relevant authorities to gain authorization.”
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While based in Australia, Elixinol has major distribution facilities in the U.S. for its hemp-based products that ship worldwide.
“Japan has the third largest consumer economy in the world, and the audience is both sophisticated and health conscious,” said Paul Benheim, CEO of Elixinol Global Limited. “Culturally, the Japanese people embrace natural health care, and with an aging population there is huge interest in preventative health and wellness through clinical grade CBD supplements,”