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Psychoactive Substance retailers banned from trading

Hon Todd McClay

Associate Minister of Health 29 September 2013

Media Statement

Psychoactive Substance retailers banned from trading

The announcement today by the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority that it has suspended or refused licenses to sell approved psychoactive substances by retailers in Dunedin and Hawera has been welcomed by Associate Health Minister Todd McClay.

In addition, a retailer in Stoke has agreed to surrender their licence following discussions with the Authority.

“This shows the Psychoactive Substances Act is proving effective in reducing the availability and accessibility of so-called ‘legal highs’. The Act is working in the way intended by parliament and I commend the Authority for its decisions in declining these licences,” says Mr McClay.

“The Authority has been quite clear on what it requires of retailers who are granted temporary licences, and these retailers have breached these requirements.”

“This shows that those who thought the Authority was merely rubber stamping applications are wrong. Previously we had 3-4000 retail outlets which have been reduced to around 110, and the Authority is closely scrutinising all applications received to ensure they meet the stringent requirements set out in the Act,” says Mr McClay.

All interim retail licensees will be undergoing a Police vetting process to ensure they are fit and proper to hold such a licence and that the information they have provided to the Authority is true and accurate.  Any information that is inconsistent with the statutory declarations required of applicants by the Authority will be identified and result in a likely revocation of licence.

“I anticipate that the ongoing cooperative approach of Police, District Health Boards and local authorities in scrutinising the activities of psychoactive substance retailers, will see further breaches identified and quickly acted upon. Today’s announcement should leave retailers of these products in no doubt that this new law will be strictly enforced,” says Mr McClay. 

ENDS

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