A further four synthetic cannabis substances have been banned and any products containing them must be removed from commercial sale immediately from today.
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has announced 28 substances were now banned under Temporary Class Drug Notices since they were introduced under an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act in August last year.
Under the notices more than 50 synthetic cannabis products removed from the market.
The latest substances to be banned are the chemicals CB-13, MAM-2201, AKB48 and XLR11.
"I am informed that all these substances have recently been identified in powders investigated by ESR. CB-13 was also identified separately by ESR in a synthetic cannabis product called Tai High,"Mr Dunne said.
He warned that it may be difficult to know if a product contains a banned substance, however anyone found to be illegally trading products containing the substance still faced possible prosecution.
"My advice is don't become involved in the supply of any products containing synthetic cannabis substances and people should also think twice before consuming products with so little known about their potential effects."
The Temporary Class Drug Notices on these four substances come into force today.
The Notices are a holding measure until permanent legislation can be developed this year to reverse the onus of proof so all such products will have to be proven safe before they can be sold.
Mr Dunne said the Notices enforced 12-month bans on the substances, but these would be "rolled over" as and when they are due to expire to ensure that there is no window where they can come back on to the market before the permanent legislation is in place.
The roll-over process on the first of the bans will take place next month.
Any product containing a banned substance cannot be sold either from retail outlets or over the internet.
- APNZBy Kate Shuttleworth @K8Shuttleworth Email Kate