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Suspension of legal-high licences continues

Published: 5:28AM Tuesday April 01, 2014 Source: ONE News/Fairfax

  • K2 in cigarette paper. (Source: ONE News)
    K2 in cigarette paper. - Source: ONE News

Hamilton's legal high sellers have been told the suspension of their licences has been extended.

The Ministry of Health suspended the licences of six Hamilton legal high sellers last month following the adoption of the city council's psychoactive substances policy.

The policy aims to push synthetic high retailers out of Hamilton neighbourhoods and away from sensitive sites such as schools.

The 21-day suspension ended today, but has been extended.

The ministry's Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority has informed licence holders and the Hamilton City Council that the suspension will be extended until after the resolution of the appeal before the Psychoactive Substances Appeals Committee and judicial review proceedings in the High Court.

The Star Trust, which supports the use of legal highs, has sought a judicial review of the Hamilton council's policy. It is understood retailers have appealed to the regulatory authority's committee regarding the suspension of the six Hamilton licences.

All licence holders and applicants have been told they are to continue to refrain from selling psychoactive substances until five days after the appeal and judicial review are resolved.

Anti legal high activist Aaron Woolley said there was growing community concern over what would happen once the 21-day suspension period ended.

One Hamilton retailer had already boasted they would get their licence back this week, he said.

His advocacy group, Stand Up Against Legal Highs Hamilton, planned to hold a rally along Hamilton's Victoria St on Saturday to highlight people's opposition to the sale of legal highs.

Hamilton East MP David Bennett said the 21-day ban period allowed the ministry to review the council's psychoactive substances policy to ensure it was correct.