A Timaru dairy owner says he is comfortable selling the controversial synthetic cannabis substance Tai High, as long as it meets the legal requirements.
Elizabeth Street Dairy owner Ketan Kolhe said he chose to stock the product after requests from customers.
There were a lot of people, mostly young, buying it, he said.
The product comes in 2-gram packs and costs $20 to $35.
"It's all been tested [before going] in the market," he said.
The product was not displayed in the store.
Concern was raised this week by an Oamaru doctor who said two patients within a week had suffered "psychotic episodes" after allegedly using the product.
In August last year, the Government approved amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill, and 28 substances and more than 50 products that contained them have since been taken off the market.
However, Herbal Exports, which owns Tai High, said on its website the "new blend" Blue Magic, introduced this year, was completely legal.
North Street Dairy owner Jay Tailor said he did not stock the product but many customers had requested it.
"The concern mainly is it is just like drugs . . . so we try to avoid that, just for the community."
Centennial Park Store owner Bin Liu said he did not stock any synthetic cannabis products, because he thought it was illegal. Customers had asked for it.
Herbal Exports said on its website all products were independently tested to ensure their legality.
The company advised people to use "only use a pinch" when smoking Tai High for the first time.
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced last month that every synthetic cannabinoid product now for sale would be removed when a new law took effect next year. The legislation would force distributors and producers of party pills and other legal highs to prove they were safe before they could sell them.
Mr Dunne said there had been a 75 per cent fall in emergency call incidents around synthetic cannabis products since the synthetic drugs had been banned, according to National Poisons Centre data.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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