Legal highs become less legal

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 13:35 19/07/2013
Andy Hall
Derek Flynn

Stock take: Boots ‘n All owner Andy Hall has removed all synthetic cannabis products from his shelves in Blenheim to comply with a new law

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Synthetic cannabis users in Marlborough will have to wait a while until they can buy their next fix after a new law has restricted the sale of legal highs.

The Psychoactive Substances Act came into force yesterday. It includes a ban on sales of the product from dairies or any sort of grocery store, petrol stations, or where alcohol is sold, to anyone under 18.

Advertising the product is also banned, except at the point of sale.

Boots 'n All owner Andy Hall, who had sold a variety of legal highs, said the new law was "brilliant".

Boots 'n All stopped selling the product in Blenheim at closing time on Wednesday.

Mr Hall said he had sold most of his stock and flushed the rest down the toilet.

The law should have been made a long time ago to stop irresponsible retailers selling the product to people under the age of 18, he said.

Retailers would need to obtain a temporary licence to sell the product and would have to wait until a new approved batch of legal highs was released.

All products will be labelled with health warnings, a list of the active ingredients, contact details for the manufacturer or distributor and the telephone number of the National Poisons Centre.

A product could be withdrawn from the market if adverse effects, including reports of addiction, were confirmed.

Anyone breaching the rules would face up to two years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000.

Police had identified Tiger Takeaways, on High St, as the only other retailer in Blenheim that sold synthetic cannabis.

The owner said he had stopped selling the product but would sell approved synthetic highs when he had obtained a licence.

"If it's legal, we'll sell it," he said.

"That's the bottom line."

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- The Marlborough Express

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