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Govt needs to prepare for new substance after synthetic cannabis ban

Published: 8:00AM Tuesday June 10, 2014 Source: One News

  • Synthetic drugs shortly before they are banned from sale. (Source: ONE News)
    Synthetic drugs shortly before they are banned from sale. - Source: ONE News

The demand for synthetic cannabis has moved to the black market a month after they were taken off shelves, an expert says.

The National Poisons centre has only received 14 withdrawal related calls since then and the New Zealand Drug Foundation says it's because people are continuing to use them despite the ban, or have turned to the real thing.

Foundation Executive Director, Ross Bell told TVNZ's Breakfast that while the products are off the shelves they are certainly available on the black market and people can still access them illegally or they are buying illegal cannabis.

"The demand has been shifted to the black market so it is hard to get a sense of what exacting is going on," he says.

He says there are still a lot of regulations to be worked through to make sure the new legislation works so the Government needs to work with councils around some of their local policies.

"At some point in time the industry will cook up a substance and they will get it through the testing regime and we need to be ready for that."