Customers of Napier's only legal high retailer were spending
an estimated $7500 a day on psychoactive substances even
before an "influx" of new shoppers when similar stores in
Hastings were forced to close.
The estimated daily spend at the Adult Selections store was
calculated by Napier City Council staff monitoring video
footage of customers going in and out of the Dickens St shop.
In a report prepared for a meeting tomorrow of the council's
community development committee, staff said monitoring of a
CCTV camera, installed above a toilet block across the road
from the store on January 23, showed about 140 customers
going into the store during a three-hour period.
"This level of activity could result in around $3000 worth of
sales within the three hour period - or around $7500 per
day," the report says.
The monitoring was done soon after the CCTV camera was
installed in January.
Just over a week ago, the Ministry of Health forced the
closure of the two legal high stores in Hastings, temporarily
suspending their licenses while it investigates potential
breaches of the city's local approved products policy.
The closure of the Hastings stores has resulted in what
police called "an influx of buyers"to the Napier store and it
is generally believed its sales have increased significantly.
Police have increased their presence in Dickens St in
response to the increased foot and vehicle traffic associated
with the store, and amid concerns from nearby businesses
about the behaviour of its customers.
In the report to be discussed at tomorrow's committee
meeting, council staff outline a number of steps proposed to
address concerns about Adult Selection's customers.
Napier Mayor Bill Dalton has said he is concerned about the
issue and the council will do all it can to reduce the impact
of the legal high store on other businesses and residents.
The council's hands are tied however, in terms of forcing the
shop to close. While Napier has a local approved products
policy in place similar to that operating in Hastings, the
Adult Selections store meets all the conditions it imposes.
Under the Psychoactive Substances Act, which became law last
year, councils are not able to put policies in place that are
so restrictive they prevent legal high stores from operating.
Meanwhile, a Hastings woman appeared in the Hastings District
Court yesterday charged with selling synthetic cannabis
without a licence.
Susan Margaret Sullivan, a 49-year-old kitchen hand, was
remanded on bail without plea to reappear in court again next
Police said they found a large amount of psychoactive
substances and cash at her Heretaunga St East home last week.
She faces a maximum penalty of three months' jail and a
- Simon Hendery of Hawke's Bay Today