[PSRA] Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority Update

Written by Legal Highs NZ on . Posted in Legal Highs, Synthetic Cannabis, Synthetic Cannabis News

The Ministry of Health have just updated their website with some information about the new Psychoactive Substances Bill.

The Department in charge of so called “Legal Highs” will be the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority. Continue reading for more…

Distribution of psychoactive substances and products in New Zealand.

Parliament has recently passed the Psychoactive Substances Bill. The new legislation regulates the importation, manufacture and supply of psychoactive substances, which are the active ingredients in party pills, energy pills and herbal highs. Regulating psychoactive substances will help protect the health of, and minimise harm to, individuals who use these substances.

The new legislation establishes a Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority within the Ministry of Health. The Regulatory Authority will be responsible for ensuring products meet adequate safety requirements before they can be distributed in New Zealand. It will also license importers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

The legislation will commence following the assent of the Governor-General. This is expected next week.

What the new Act will do

The following changes will come into effect immediately:

  • The sale of psychoactive products is prohibited from dairies, convenience and grocery stores, supermarkets, service stations and liquor outlets
  • The sale of psychoactive products to people under 18 years of age is prohibited
  • No-one under 18 years of age is permitted to purchase or possess psychoactive products
  • Advertising of psychoactive products is strictly controlled and only permitted at the point of sale
  • All products must  be labelled with health warnings, a list of the active ingredients, contact details for the manufacturer or distributor, and the telephone number of the National Poisons Centre
  • Neither advertising nor labelling is allowed to appeal to minors
  • The Regulatory Authority can withdraw a product from the market if adverse effects, including reports of addiction, are confirmed
  • New offences are created for breaches of requirements under the Act.

Transitional period

There is a transitional period between the Act’s commencement and when Psychoactive Substances Regulations are in place.

Product owners and businesses will have 28 days from when the Act commences to apply for interim product approvals and licences. Interim product approval and licence fees will apply.

During the transitional period:

  • product owners may apply for interim product approvals for psychoactive products
  • established businesses who trade in psychoactive products may apply for interim licences to continue these activities. This does not apply to businesses that are prohibited from selling psychoactive products
  • non-approved products must be removed from the market
  • non-licensed businesses must cease trading in psychoactive products.

Psychoactive Substances Regulations

The transitional period will end with the completion of the Psychoactive Substances Regulations, which are expected to be in place later in the year. These regulations to the Act will prescribe the processes and fees required for new product approvals and longer-term licences.

All holders of interim approvals and licences must reapply in order to continue trading in psychoactive products once the regulations are completed.

New psychoactive products

When the Psychoactive Substances Act commences, no new psychoactive products may be introduced to the New Zealand market until approval has been obtained.

Applications for approval cannot be submitted until the Psychoactive Substances Regulations are completed.  These regulations will outline the information that the Regulatory Authority will require to assess applications.

More information, including a link to the new legislation and required approval processes will be available on this website shortly.

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