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Monday, July 4

Govt will not back off regulating synthetic cannabis industry



The synthetic cannabis industry’s “poacher turned game-keeper” offer today to suddenly self-regulate is welcome, but the Government will go ahead with law changes in the next few weeks to restrict the sale and marketing of their products, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said today.

“When any group that has for years done absolutely nothing to help keep the users of its products safe suddenly wants to self-regulate, then you know one of two things has happened – it has either developed a conscience, or it can see a drastic impact on its cash flow.

“Call me cynical, but I am suspecting the latter here,” Mr Dunne said, saying amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Acts will go before Parliament in the next few weeks.

“I certainly welcome their suggestions today, but I think the Government – and the public – will naturally receive them with caution of the Tui billboard variety.

“These people do not have a track record of responsible dealings.

“It is a shoddy industry that does not test its own products and clearly has not cared what is in them as long as they make a lot of money,” Mr Dunne said.

“My message to the industry is: yes, impose self-regulation, but the Government will also regulate you.

“And yes, test your products – but you should have been doing that all along, and in the longer term that is what this Government intends to make you do anyway.

“You will have to prove that your products are safe. We are going to back the Law Commission recommendation on that.end,” Mr Dunne said

“The days of fast bucks, damaging young people’s health and no responsibility are at an