A temporary ban on the sale of a number of synthetic cannabinoids including Kronic, came into effect last Wednesday.
Any retailers selling products containing banned substances will be prosecuted and could face $1000 fine or up to eight years’ imprisonment under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.
New Zealand Police chief media adviser Jon Neilson told the Matamata Chronicle that access to synthetic substances was too readily available and this ban would help prevent more people gaining access to Kronic.
‘‘The clear impact of the new legislation is that access to such substances will be far more limited which will make it much more difficult to purchase the products,’’ he said. ‘‘Now that these products are no longer ‘legal’ the attraction to use them is likely to reduce.’’
The ban will stay in place until the synthetic products have been tested and proved safe.
Of 43 banned substances, party pills and herbal highs are not included. Any product containing the banned substances will be illegal to manufacture, sell, supply, import and export.
Despite the crackdown on Kronic sales, personal possession of the synthetic products is still not considered an offence.
Starfish Social Services Stephen Prebble said Matamata youth were at risk of becoming dependent on synthetic cannabis products.
A list of banned substances can be found at www.ndp.govt.nz.