The audience at a Pact seminar on synthetic cannabis in Dunedin on Friday. Photos by Linda Robertson.
A synthetic cannabis retailer says some people should be
banned from buying the product.
The retailer, who did not wished to be named, was in an
audience of more than 40 people at a Pact synthetic cannabis
seminar in Dunedin on Friday.
Medical anthropologist Dr Geoff Noller, of Dunedin, told the
seminar new legislation required synthetic cannabis buyers to
be 18 years old and banned sales from dairies, grocery
stores, service stations and liquor outlets.
The Ministry of Health was issuing interim licences to stores
to sell synthetic cannabis.
The synthetic cannabis for sale must not have been classed as
''problematic'' in the three months prior to the legislation
being introduced in July, he said.
The person issued the licence had to be deemed ''fit and
proper'' and had to have submitted an application for an
interim licence to sell the products within 28 days of the
Act having come into effect.
The synthetic cannabis retailer said people with problematic
histories with synthetic cannabis should be banned from
buying the product.
Pact mental health clinical leader Matthew Peppercorn said
excluding some people from legal stores could create a human
Many Pact clients smoked synthetic cannabis because they
could not afford the court fines that came with smoking
cannabis, he said.
Synthetic cannabis was legal for some users with mental
health issues, but it could worsen their symptoms, he said.
Other could use it without issue.
Dr Noller said studies had shown people with mental health
issues were more susceptible to the effects of synthetic
Further studies had shown, that although many users preferred
cannabis over its synthetic counterpart, they smoked the more
expensive synthetic cannabis because it was more potent,
available and legal.
Dr Noller asked the retailer what the base material was for
''I have to plead ignorance - it changes over time - sorry, I
can't answer that,'' the retailer said.
If synthetic cannabis was not available, people would find
other ways to get ''wasted'', he said.
Although, he did not want his name in the paper, his name was
listed on the Ministry of Health website as an interim
licence holder, he said.
The publication of his name had not generated any negative
feedback, he said.