Warning over psychoactive substance law breaches
Media statement October 8, 2013
Warning over psychoactive substance law breaches, after retailer licence is suspended
A Whanganui retailer is the latest to have their licence suspended under the new Psychoactive Substances Act.
The retailer's licence is suspended after breaching the requirements of the new law.
The Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority has earlier suspended licences in Hawera and Dunedin after applicants in both cases appear to be using premises that do not comply with the requirements of the Act.
A suspended licence means that the licence holder is not able to continue to sell psychoactive substances while the Authority works through the statutory process to investigate whether these retail licences should be revoked.
The manager of the Authority, Dr Donald Hannah says information has been received from the police that unapproved psychoactive products were being sold. Further to that, the applicants were specifically advised they cannot sell food and drink at premises, and were asked if they wished to proceed with their application. It appears the licence holder in Whanganui may have breached that undertaking.
Applicants for interim retail licences make statutory declarations that they will comply with the requirements of the Act.
"This is a warning to all those with interim retail licences that the requirements of the Act need to be strictly adhered to."
Dr Hannah says Police and public health units will continue to work together to monitor compliance.
“We encourage any members of the public, who have any concerns to contact the Police, and the Ministry of Health - anonymous information can also be provided by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Dr Hannah says the Act has removed psychoactive substances from sale in dairies and convenience stores as part of the Act's purpose of reducing harm, and the remaining retailers are now able to be monitored, which was not previously feasible.
The Authority estimates that following implementation of the transitional scheme which prohibited sale of psychoactive products from dairies, the total number of retail outlets selling psychoactive substances has substantially decreased.
From around an estimated 3 to 4 thousand psychoactive substance retailers prior to the Act, around 110 retail licences have been issued to date.
All the licences granted are interim and will need to be reapplied for once full regulations under the Act come into force over the coming months.
For further information, contact Kevin McCarthy, senior media advisor, 021 832 459.
A list of licences, including those suspended or surrendered, can be accessed online at:
For further information about the Psychoactive Substances Act see: