Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Chief Executive, Michael Barnett has welcomed the decision of Associate Health Minister Todd McLay to ask the Health Ministry to send the 28 synthetic drugs which it granted a temporary licence to Environmental Science and Research (ESR) for extensive testing.
Earlier this week Mr Barnett sent an open letter to the Minister urging him to urgently investigate the appropriateness of the Ministry of Health’s actions to grant official licences to retailers allowing them to sell more than 20 untested brands of synthetic cannabis.
Two months ago Parliament passed the Psychoactive Substances Act, which banned sales of synthetic drugs from dairies and other convenience stores. The new law allows sales from specialist shops only if and when manufacturers can prove their products are low risk.
In my language the Ministry’s decision to allow 107 retailers to continue selling 28 brands of untested drugs defeats if not defies the purpose of the new legislation. It is saying that we can continue to experiment with the lives of our young people, their families and their futures.
"I am pleased that the Minister has given urgency to our request," said Mr Barnett. "I note that further applications are still being assessed, and would expect that none of these will be approved until extensive testing by ESR to establish their safety."