Hamilton City Council proposes strict new rules under new legislation that regulates synthetic cannabis and legal highs.
Its new draft policy would limit the industry to as few as five outlets across the entire city, all restricted to operating inside the CBD.
The council has recommended that legal highs retailers trade for no longer than 27.5 hours per week and further limited to the hours between 9am-2.30pm on week days.
The new rules will be included in a draft policy presented to the council this week, after backlash at the availability of legal highs in Hamilton.
The Health Ministry is developing full regulations expected to come into force in March, In the meantime interim licences were granted to around 110 retailers across the country.
Stephen King (Hamilton’s Drug and Alcohol Community Support Trust director), said that at first glance the proposed city council rules seemed workable, although he had some reservations about allowing sales in the midst of the hospitality precinct. He was also not convinced that limiting sales to school hours would stop psychoactives getting into the hands of young people.
Council general manager performance Blair Bowcott said the new law does not allow the council to put a limit on the total number of retailers allowed to sell legal highs, but he acknowledged that the restrictions would create an effective limit.
Public submissions on the proposed rules will be open from January 14 to February 17.
Tags: Local Council