Dunne bans another synthetic cannabis substance

  • Peter Dunne

An additional synthetic cannabis substance is in the process of being banned and expected to be off the shelves late next week, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced today.

This brings to 20 the total number of substances now banned under Temporary Class Drug Notices, Mr Dunne said, in noting that it comes days after the head of the National Poisons Centre, Dr Leo Schep, said the centre was no longer receiving calls about synthetic cannabis.

“It’s yet more evidence that we actually have killed Kronic and its likes, and adding this latest substance to the banned list is just another nail in the coffin of synthetic cannabis substances,” Mr Dunne said.

The provisions in the Misuse of Drugs Act to issue such notices became law in August, and to date the notices issued have resulted in up to 50 products containing synthetic cannabis substances being banned from sale.

The notices are issued on substances rather than commercial products, meaning that the products that contain those substances effectively become banned.

The latest substance has been identified as the chemical AM-2233.

“I have been informed by the Ministry of Health that this chemical is understood to be present in a product called Tai High.”

Mr Dunne says today’s announcement means any product, containing this chemical, will be removed from shelves and no longer able to be sold over the internet in New Zealand.

The Temporary Class Drug Notice will come into force on 29 December, seven days after the notice is published in the New Zealand Gazette.

The notices follow a law change which was introduced in August. The provisions are a holding measure until permanent legislation can be developed next year to reverse the onus of proof so all such products must meet appropriate levels of safety before they can be approved and sold.