Legal highs reappear on Auckland shelves

Yahoo! New Zealand October 4, 2011, 11:15 am

Synthetic cannabis has reappeared on the shelves of Auckland convenience stores, less than three months after the products were banned, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Auckland-based Enjoi Products has released a rebranded and modified version of its synthetic cannabis product, Amsterdam Cafe, on Saturday.

The Long Island Tea blend has been chemically altered, but only slightly, from the original Havana Special brand which was pulled from shelves after a Government ban in August.

The new product sells for $20 and has "quite a similar effect" to the old one, Enjoi Products managing director Zaid Muso told the Herald.

"There's nothing to really hide here, it is a synthetic cannabinoid."

Amsterdam Cafe was able to dodge around the Government ban by slightly altering packaging and one of the chemicals used in the product, Mr Muso said.

Enjoi Products has only distributed the new formula to retailers they deem responsible and have not advertised it.

"We're trying to keep it discreet as we can - we've only given it to responsible retailers and haven't used posters or anything like that.

"All in the effort that kids don't get their hands on it."

There are reports of other companies also gearing up to re-release modified synthetic cannabis products.

In July, the Government passed the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill after reports of severe side affects and addiction to legal highs.

The ban is interim while the Government works on an overhaul of the act.

Manufacturers will then have to prove their products are safe before they can be legally sold.

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