Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has ordered a temporary
ban on a synthetic cannabis ingredient in the legal high K2
in reponse to reports of bad side-effects among users in
Otago and Southland.
The temporary class drug notice was issued following the
identification of a substance known as EAM-2201in two K2
products seized by police.
Legal high K2 has been causing concern in the lower South
Island, said Mr Dunne.
Recorded effects include vomiting, agitation, drowsiness,
psychosis, hallucinations, headache, seizures and tremors.
K2 will now be subject to a temporary drug notice beginning
December 6, from when it will be illegal to import,
manufacture, sell or supply the substance.
"The Health Ministry considers that EAM-2201 poses a risk at
least comparable to other already banned synthetic cannabis
substances, therefore I have made the decision that it needs
to be banned," said Mr Dunne.
"This is clearly not a product we want in the market place,
and the fact that it is on the market tells you that we have
an industry that does not give a damn about the safety of its
"Any product containing EAM-2201must be off the market under
this order, which will stay in force for 12 months."
A permanent psychoactive substances regime will be in place
by the middle of next year, said Mr Dunne, meaning
manufacturers and distributors will have to prove their
products are safe before they are allowed to sell to
Products that pass will still come with age and other
"The regime will fix this industry once and for all and make
it comply with proper standards," he said.
"K2 is just another example of why you cannot trust these
people to self-regulate and conduct themselves responsibly."
In August last year the Government introduced temporary class
drug notices that have forced 28 substances and more than 50
synthetic cannabis products off the market.
The notices resulted in a dramatic drop in calls to the
centre, from a high of 16 in July to one in October last