Six synthetic cannabis products removed from shelves early 01 May 2014

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

The Ministry of Health has prematurely removed six leading synthetic cannabis brands from shelves by revoking their interim licences.

Peter Dunne had previously stated that it’s impossible to pinpoint which products are causing “the issues”, this seems to say otherwise.

Six popular brands of synthetic cannabis have had their approval revoked for their interim licences apparently due to “adverse reactions”. (Updated: Media Press Release below)

Some are questioning, why the entire market will suffer the same fate next week, when it appears that a select few psychoactive products are, or were causing most of the issues.

Adverse reactions to Psychoactive Substances are reported to the Ministry of Health via a number of sources, including the National Poisons Centre and Emergency Department reports.

It is an offence under section 70 of the Act to sell a psychoactive substance that is not an approved product. Committing an offence against section 70(1) of the Act may result in prosecution with possible imprisonment and a fine.

Assessment of data collected from the National Poisons Centre, the Alcohol Drug Helpline and Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) has indicated that the total risk scores for these products has increased to a level deemed to pose more than a low risk of harm to consumers.

The following products are now illegal to sell.

Apocalypse Eversons International Ltd P0005 Approval revoked Section 40
Outbreak Eversons International Ltd P0006 Approval revoked Section 40
White Rhino Snitchell Holdings Ltd P0016 Approval revoked Section 40
Blueberry Crush Platinum Marketing Limited P0031 Approval revoked Section 40
WTF Eversons International Ltd P0047 Approval revoked Section 40
Lemon Grass Orbital Distribution Ltd P0051 Approval revoked Section 40

The official notice from the Ministry of Health to retailers reads;

update to retailers about product recall


Psychoactive substances regulatory action taken

Media release

01 May 2014

Six psychoactive products are to be recalled from the market after they were found to pose more than a low risk of harm to the public.

The move comes after monitoring by the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority.

The Authority is issuing a recall notice to product suppliers after revoking the licences for these products:

Apocalypse, Outbreak, WTF, Blueberry Crush, White Rhino, Lemon Grass.

This action follows the withdrawal of five products earlier this year. The Authority will continue to receive and assess reports of adverse affects.

Product suppliers are required to notify retailers who are holding the products to recall the removed products.

With immediate effect retailers can no longer sell the products as they are now unapproved. Retailers should securely store these products and return them to their suppliers.

Enforcement of these regulatory actions will be by Police, the Authority, and public health units.

Any member of the public holding the product should not consume it. If they are concerned about their health after taking any psychoactive substance, they should contact health services, call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or call the National Poisons Centre 0800 POISON (0800 764 766) – this number is printed on all approved products.

If they are concerned about the health effects stemming from the usage of psychoactive substances, and need confidential advice and support for themselves or someone they know, contact the Alcohol Drug Helpline 0800 787 797.

Read more about the product revocations

The Authority has also taken regulatory action involving all manufacturer licences because of insufficient compliance to date with the Code of Manufacturing Practice. One licence has been cancelled, and 8 are suspended or have had an earlier suspension extended. One licence was surrendered earlier this year.

The Manager of the Authority, Dr Donald Hannah, says the two actions are part of the usual business of the Authority and are not related to the recent decision by the Government to bring forward the end of the interim phase of the Psychoactive Substances Act, and for parliament to consider amendments to the legislation.

“The suspension of the manufacturing licences is not related to adverse reaction reports, but is because manufacturers have to varying degrees failed to date to provide sufficient information about their compliance with the Code. This means that while a manufacturer may be suspended, their product can remain on the market unless it is among those which have today or previously been revoked by the Authority “

Dr Hannah says the Authority will be further assessing manufacturer data. Future action could range from lifting of suspensions through to cancellation of licences and recall of products.

Further background

About the assessing of harm

The revocation action has been taken following assessment of reports of adverse reactions reported to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM), National Poisons Centre and the Alcohol Drug helpline. These reports demonstrate each of the six products pose more than a low risk of harm to the consumer.

The Authority uses a risk assessment framework which takes into account reports of adverse reactions among other factors. Taking recent reports into account all the withdrawn products now score above the threshold deemed to pose more than a low risk of harm. The reports include nausea and vomiting, insomnia, acute psychotic reaction, and prolonged withdrawal.

If people have remaining products that are now banned they can return these to the retailer or local police.

About the Code of Manufacturing Practice

The Code of Manufacturing Practice came into effect on 17 January 2014. The Code focuses on making sure all psychoactive products on the market in New Zealand are made to a consistently high standard in clean, controlled environments, and details the quality control requirements for psychoactive substances and products. The code has a number of milestones that manufacturers must comply with, including provision of certain data by certain dates.

For more information, view How the Authority is assessing interim products

About the Psychoactive Substances Act

Detailed information about the Psychoactive Substances Act is available in the Psychoactive substances section, including status of licences.

Page last updated: 01 May 2014

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