Tightening of drug utensil regulation

Media release

11 April 2014

A new regulatory notice will tighten controls around utensils used for illegal drugs.

Currently people can subvert prohibitions on importing drug utensils by bringing them into the country in parts. The new Notice prohibits importation of drug utensils in parts.

The new Notice also prohibits ‘offer for sale’.

This means that it will be in breach of the new Notice for retailers to display cannabis and methamphetamine utensils for the purpose of selling in addition to the current prohibition on supply of those utensils. 

At present, taking action over a possible breach has required the observing of a transaction on the part of a retailer. This has at times required burdensome sting operations.

The Notice also removes hookah pipes from the list of cannabis utensils. This recognises that the traditional use of hookah pipes is to smoke fruit-flavoured tobacco.

There is little evidence to suggest that hookah pipes are being used to administer illegal drugs in New Zealand. Smoking of tobacco is subject to the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990.

What and when

The Misuse of Drugs (Prohibition of Cannabis Utensils and Methamphetamine Utensils) Notice 2014 will come into effect on 12 May 2014.

The Notice replaces a 2003 notice of the same name.


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