Herbal 'highs' resurface

A wholesaler and dairies and service stations in Dunedin are in talks about stocking a new generation of legal highs, industry sources say.

On May 8, all psychoactive products were banned following a Government crackdown on the controversial products.

But new legal herbal highs have since emerged for sale via websites and in R18 stores.

The smoking products, which feature the same brand names as popular synthetic cannabis varieties, are advertised as non-psychoactive.

The products contain natural herbs such as damiana leaves and pyridine, which is extracted from black pepper.

''These are mostly harmless,'' Dr Leo Schep, of the Dunedin-based National Poisons Centre, said.

A Ministry of Health spokesman confirmed the products were not considered a psychoactive substance under the Psychoactive Substances Act.

Under the Smokefree Environments Act, smokable products, including herbal smoking products, are not allowed to be sold to people under 18.

- hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz


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