Synthetic cannabis seized from dairy

Last updated 09:31 06/05/2014

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About 100 bags of synthetic cannabis products were found at an unlicensed dairy in Auckland yesterday.

Counties Manukau Police executed a search warrant on the unlicensed premises and confiscated the synthetic cannabis after a member of the public alerted the police.

The 42-year-old man had been charged with selling psychoactive products from an unauthorised place and selling approved product without a licence.

Counties Manukau Police spokeswoman Kimberley Mathews said the man had been selling synthetic cannabis products at the dairy prior to the law change that required him to obtain a licence.

Currently licensed retailers can sell approved products under the Psychoactive Substances Act.

However, under the act dairies are unable to obtain licences to sell synthetic drugs, along with convenience stores, supermarkets, petrol stations and places that sold liquor.

The Government is in the process of changing the legislation in order to ban all synthetic drugs until individual testing has proven each brand is "low-risk".

Mathews said across the country four other premises had been charged with selling from an unauthorised place and nine with selling an approved product without a licence.  

However, this was the first case in Counties Manukau. 

Counties Manukau Police district prevention manager Inspector Richard Middleton said Police were working hard to minimise the harmful impact the products had on the community, particularly on "vulnerable" young people.

"This is for the health and safety of our community and unlicensed retailers will not be tolerated."

Middleton said Police wanted to from anyone else who knew of similar illegal behaviour.

The man will appear in the Manukau District Court on Friday.

Information of the behaviour of licensed retailers can be provided to the Psychoactive Substances information line on 0800 789 652. 

Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

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