Invercargill schoolkids have been getting stoned on a "legal weed" which is similar to cannabis and is being sold in city stores, concerned parents say.
Two city parents this week told The Southland Times the Night 'N Day Foodstore on Tay St was selling a product called Kronic, packaged as "pre-rolled joints" to school-aged children.
The manager of the store, Andrew Nicol, yesterday said its policy was not to sell Kronic to anyone aged under-18 and he encouraged any parents with concerns to contact him.
The Kronic website says its smoking products, or "legal weed", are manufactured in New Zealand and come in a range of "premium legal weed blends, designed for all social situations and herbal smoker levels".
An Invercargill mother said her 16-year-old son had arrived home showing "all the signs of being stoned out of his brain". He told his parents he had been smoking Kronic after buying it at the Night `N Day store on Tay St.
Another Invercargill parent said her son arrived home with a Kronic pre-rolled joint and told her that his school mates had been smoking Kronic in groups.
"My main concern is that young kids are getting access to it, that its been readily supplied to the kids and that there seems to be no control over it at all," the mother said.
Southland police area commander Inspector Barry Taylor said he had no information that Kronic was illegal, but police had concerns about it.
"Clearly it does alter the state of users and it does act as a hallucinogenic of some description. "There is a concern for people's well-being and the situations they may find themselves in."
Police had received no complaints about Kronic from the public, he said.
Royce Trounson, the manager of the Invercargill party pill shop called Pillz & Thrillz, said his store also sold Kronic, but not to under 18s, and it was a good seller.
Many customers had told him it was stronger than cannabis and he expected the Government to crack down on it, he said. A staffer at Auckland-based company Lightyears Ahead Limited, which manufactures the Kronic products, said shops that sold it were aware it was an R18 product.
Lightyears management did not return calls to The Southland Times, who wanted to know what was in Kronic. The kronic packaging and company website does not list its specific ingredients.
Consumer New Zealand research writer Jessica Wilson said retailers were not allowed to sell the product to under-18s, and if caught it would result in a $2000 fine.
The Ministry of Health website says herbal product retailers need a sign informing the public that the under-18 sale of a herbal smoking product is banned. The Kronic product has featured on the TV3 consumer affairs show Target, with the company boasting the exposure increased its sales.
- The Southland Times