New Zealand Herald – Cannabis is in NZ too

Synthetic cannabis back on the market
By Amelia Wade
5:30 AM Tuesday Oct 4, 2011

A synthetic cannabis product is back on the market – and others are on
the way – less than three months after the so-called “legal highs”
were banned.

Auckland-based Enjoi Products released a repackaged and modified
version of its Amsterdam Cafe synthetic cannabis product to
convenience stores across Auckland on Saturday.

The Long Island Tea blend has been slightly chemically altered from
the company’s former Havana Special product, which was affected by the
Government ban that came into force in August.

But the new product, which sells for $20, has “quite a similar effect”
to the old one, Enjoi Products managing director Zaid Muso said.

“There’s nothing to really hide here, it is a synthetic cannabinoid.”

Amsterdam Cafe brand was able to skirt around the ban by slightly
altering its packaging and one of the chemicals used in the blend, Mr
Muso said.

Amsterdam Cafe had been distributed only to retailers who Enjoi
Products deemed “responsible” and the company had been careful not to
advertise it, Mr Muso said.

“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.”

Other companies were also gearing up to re-release modified synthetic
cannabis products, Mr Muso said.

Matt Bowden, who imported the chemicals used to make Kronic, said the
return of synthetic cannabis products was evidence that “prohibition
doesn’t work”.

Instead of banning the products, Mr Bowden said, the Government needed
to regulate them.

In July, the Government passed the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill
after a series of articles in the Herald about the dangers of the
product Kronic which was being sold in dairies.

The ban is an interim measure while the Government works on an
overhaul of the Misuse of Drugs Act. Manufacturers will ultimately
have to prove the safety of their products before they can be sold.