Prosecutions follow joint Hamilton synthetic cannabis op
Prosecutions follow joint Hamilton synthetic cannabis operation
Tuesday, 8 October 2013 - 10:42am
Hamilton Police say businesses and individuals need to realise synthetic cannabis is assessed as being one problem combined Government agencies are determined to take action on.
City Licensing Supervisor, Sergeant Jim Kernohan, said the warning follows the prosecution of two Hamilton businesses and an individual for breaching the Psychoactive Substances Act over recent days.
"In the first incident members of one of our Public Safety Teams arrested a 35-year-old male sickness beneficiary in Garden Place on Sunday for allegedly selling synthetic cannabis.
"The man was found with $3000 in $20 notes on him and 65 unmarked packets of what appears to be synthetic cannabis material which has been sent away for forensic analysis. He has been charged with selling or supplying a non-approved psychoactive product and will appear in the Hamilton District Court on 22 October."
Mr Kernohan said the next day Police officers combined with Waikato District Health Board officials to conduct a Controlled Purchase Operation (CPO) with the assistance of a 17-year-old volunteer.
"The CPO was focused on checking the compliance of all of Hamilton's stores licensed to sell synthetic cannabis under the Psychoactive Substances Act as well as several premises previously identified by the public through Crimestoppers as businesses selling these products.
"Two licensed stores in Victoria St failed to ask our volunteer for identification and sold her synthetic cannabis in breach of Section 49 which relates to the restriction of selling approved products to persons under 18 years, and face prosecution."
In the case of one of the businesses yesterday's breach of the act was the second in two months and both agencies involved in yesterday's operation will be asking the Ministry of Health to review those licences.
"Individuals and businesses should be well aware the public has made it clear they are not prepared to accept the societal harm linked to the unlawful sale of synthetic cannabis.
"They have reinforced their concerns with a steady flow of reliable information both to our agencies and anonymously with Crimestoppers which we encourage other concerned people to do."