Six legal highs pulled ahead of ban

Six synthetic cannabis products will be pulled from shelves before the looming government ban after users reported acute psychotic reactions, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, and prolonged withdrawal.

Retailers can no longer sell the Apocalypse, Outbreak, WTF, Blueberry Crush, White Rhino and Lemon Grass products.

Authorities yesterday warned members of the public who might already have the products against smoking them.

The brands were previously assessed by the Ministry of Health and judged low risk enough to be sold to the public.

But they have now been immediately banned after reports of adverse reactions to helplines including the National Poisons Centre.

The Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority has previously withdrawn five other products that were being sold under interim licences. Suppliers paid $10,000 to register each product.

The manager of the authority, Dr Donald Hannah, said the ban was not related to the Government's decision to bring forward the end of the interim phase of the Psychoactive Substances Act.

Thirty-six products will remain on sale until Parliament passes emergency legislation next week to remove the remaining synthetic products which had been given temporary approval while the testing regime was in the process of being developed.

- Nicholas Jones of the New Zealand Herald

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