After months of pressure from Hamilton residents and politicians, six Hamilton legal highs stores have been closed.
The stores have been temporarily banned from selling legal highs in Hamilton. Punters will now have to buy legal highs online.The Ministry of Health announced it’s decision to suspend the licences of the sellers last night, following the adoption of the Hamilton City Councils psychoactive substances policy late February.
Six Hamilton Legal Highs stores have been banned from selling synthetic cannabis and other legal marijuana alternatives such as Tai High, Apocalypse, Red X and White Rhino for 21 days, effective immediately.
The official Ministry of Health website was updated late last night on the 11th March 2014, noting the following stores have had their interim licences suspended under Section 22 of the Psychoactive Substances Act.
|Video Expo Ltd||641 Victoria Street, Hamilton||RET0029|
|Smokos Discount Tobacco Specialist Limited Partnership||789 Te Rapa Road,Hamilton||RET0174|
|Adult World||851 Victoria Steet, Hamilton||RET0189|
|Weng & Li Company Limited||220 Victoria Street, Hamilton||RET0067|
|Kinnari Mihir Patel||371 Grey Street, Hamilton||RET0041|
|ELP Retail Limited||Peaches and Cream Hamilton, 370 Anglesea Street, Hamilton||RET0018|
Further regulatory action such as lifting the suspensions or cancelling licences may be taken after the Ministry of Health has fully investigated the Hamilton City Councils policy more thoroughly.
Under the council rules adopted two weeks ago, retail shops selling legal highs were restricted to the city centre and were required to operate at least 100 meters away from sensitive areas, effectively closing down existing retailers temporarily.
Sensitive areas and sites may include schools, churches or places of worship, community facilities and some public spaces such as The Waikato River, the river walkway, public toilets and some “key bus stops”.
Under the current act, licenced legal highs and psychoactive substances retailers are not allowed to move to a new address or apply for a new licence, essentially putting these stores out of business.
Applications for full retail licences are expected to be available early to mid year in 2015.
Customers looking to buy legal highs will have to move to online retailers that offer delivery to Hamilton.