New leg­is­la­tion to reg­u­late syn­thet­ics

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PET­RICE TARRANT

Re­tail­ers plan­ning on gain­ing li­cences to sell syn­thetic cannabis might have a few more hur­dles to jump.

New leg­is­la­tion reg­u­lat­ing the prod­uct and the num­ber of premises per­mit­ted to sell the sub­stance is cur­rently go­ing through Par­lia­ment.

No other out­let can be es­tab­lished un­til the Psy­choac­tive Sub­stances Reg­u­la­tions come into force. When the leg­is­la­tion is en­acted it will al­low Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment to con­trol the point of sale.

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil is de­vel­op­ing a pol­icy for when the law is passed, which it hopes will limit the sale of the con­tro­ver­sial drug.

Mayor Neil Sin­clair said the Lo­cal Ap­proved Prod­uct Pol­icy will ad­dress el­e­ments such as store lo­ca­tion and hours of op­er­a­tion.

‘‘ Things like it’s not al­lowed to op­er­ate within 100 me­tres of a school,’’ he said.

The pro­posed by­law comes as lit­tle con­so­la­tion

Syn­thetic cannabis can only be banned by Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment. for those protest­ing against Toko­roa’s R18 Party Shop.

Ex­ist­ing rights mean you can’t ap­ply a law ret­ro­spec­tively, Mr Sin­clair said.

‘‘And un­for­tu­nately our shop is so close to the early learn­ing cen­tre.’’

He said peo­ple hop­ing for a dis­trict wide ban are dream­ing.

‘‘You can’t make a by­law that pro­hibits things that are le­gal.’’

But Mr Sin­clair said he is fight­ing tooth and nail to change that very premise.

He said he is work­ing with Na­tional MP Todd McClay to of­fer a way of iden­ti­fy­ing the es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ent in syn­thet­ics.

‘‘We will see if that can be used to in­stall an im­por­ta­tion ban.’’

He said the pro­posal went out to of­fi­cials a cou­ple of months ago and he is await­ing a re­sponse.

The aim is to use the Mis­use of Drugs Act to in­tro­duce the blan­ket ban.

‘‘Ev­ery mayor would love to see a way of ban­ning it rather than just con­trol­ling the point on sale,’’ he said.


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