A local supplier has expressed surprise at the banning of six synthetic high products.
The psychoactive products involved are G-13, three Kronic products (Skunk, Tropical Explosion and Pineapple Express), and Kryptonite Green and Red.
Dizzy Spells owner Megan Devries said she was surprised by the move.
"I didn't expect them to single out these ones. I guess they've received a lot of publicity of late," she said.
"We were lucky we sold the last of those products a while ago."
Stafford St shops Dizzy Spells and Karmec Creations are the only suppliers of synthetic highs in Timaru to have applied and been granted a licence since the Psychoactive Substances Act became law in July.
Ms Devries said since the legislation came into effect, the business had experienced few issues other than increased compliance costs. "All of our customers are responsible and mature, they know we're not going to sell it to underage people, or deal with dodgy suppliers."
Under the Act, interim approval was sought for the products.
However, the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority yesterday said it had refused those applications.
The applicants cannot now import, manufacture, wholesale or retail the products, and any that have been sold must be recalled.
It is the first time the authority has made such an announcement.
Authority manager Dr Donald Hannah said the six products had all been assessed to pose more than a low risk of harm.
Reports of adverse reactions had been reviewed from a range of sources including the National Poisons Centre and hospital emergency departments.
"Such adverse effects are being monitored on an ongoing basis and the authority will also act to remove any currently approved interim products, should there be concern," Dr Hannah said.
Under the new law, psychoactive products had been removed from sale in dairies and conveniences stores, while remaining retailers could be monitored, which had not previously been feasible.
The total number of retail outlets selling psychoactive products was estimated to have decreased from between 3000 and 4000 to about 110, for which retail licences had been issued.
Legal-highs advocate and Star Trust general manager Grant Hall said the drop in retail outlets proved the rules were working.
"I think people should be really pleased about the new rules. It's world-leading, and is evidence-based," Mr Hall said. "Dairies should never have been the key suppliers of these products."
Associate Health Minister Todd McClay welcomed the removal of the products from shops. He said recent reports showed the products were being implicated in fewer crimes, and there were fewer reports of adverse health effects.
Six months ago, hundreds of products had been on sale.
"To put it bluntly, it was the Wild West and New Zealand, like other jurisdictions around the world, was struggling with getting on top of this problem."
- © Fairfax NZ News