Dunne: further 3 synthetic cannabis substances to be banned

Press Release – New Zealand Government

A further three synthetic cannabis substances are in the process of being banned this week and are expected to be off the shelves late next week, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said today.Hon Peter Dunne Associate Minister of Health
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Media Releas

Dunne: further 3 synthetic cannabis substances to be banned

A further three synthetic cannabis substances are in the process of being banned this week and are expected to be off the shelves late next week, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said today.

This brings the total number of substances now banned under Temporary Class Drug Notices which became law in August to 19, with 43 actual products containing these substances already removed from the market.

Mr Dunne said while it was concerning to see new products such as Amsterdam Café, which was in the media today, in shops, but he has instructed health officials to investigate and test these new products.

“If it shows that they contain substances already banned, they will be gone. If it shows they contain new untested substances, I will put in place the necessary Temporary Class Drug Notices to deal with it.

“I have removed 43 products already; if I have to remove another 43, so be it,” Mr Dunne said.

“If the industry thinks they can get around the law by changing a couple of ingredients, repackaging, re-branding and back to business the way they always have, then they have seriously misread the scope and potency of this law.

“We are not letting them make their profit by plying young New Zealanders with substances that are unproven and potentially unsafe.

“The game is over. It is just that it has not clicked for some of them yet,” Mr Dunne said.

He said the latest three substances that are in the process of being banned were intercepted by Customs at the border and had not reached their importers.

Temporary Class Drug Notices ban a product or substance within seven days of the notice being gazetted.

They were introduced in August as a holding measure until permanent legislation can be developed next year that will reverse the onus of proof so importers will have to prove their products are safe before they can be sold.

ENDS

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