Psst. want to buy some Kronic Pineapple Express? Your local dairy may still stock the substance, despite it being banned.

The so-called "legal high", found to contain synthetic cannabinoids and banned from sale on Thursday, was joined on the illegal list yesterday by Cosmic Corner's Juicy Puff Super Strength, after tests revealed they both contained the prescription drug phenazepam, an anxiety medication used overseas.

Yet the Herald on Sunday easily bought a 1.25g bag of Pineapple Express yesterday at Khyber Pass News Agency in Newmarket.

The man serving at the counter - who would not give his name and said his solicitor had advised him not to speak to the media after a previous negative story - said he didn't know he was supposed to remove it from the shelves. Nobody had told him to do so.

If he was told to, he would happily withdraw the product from sale. He said he hadn't been contacted by the manufacturer.

His comments were in contrast to other shopkeepers though. On Dominion Rd, three store owners said Kronic representatives had phoned to tell them Pineapple Express should not be sold - but all three had already voluntarily stopped selling all Kronic products.

Superette owner Sophia Song said after hearing concerns about young people taking the product, she decided it wasn't something she wanted to sell.

Kronic is marketed by Lightyears Ahead, but director Matthew Wielenga couldn't be reached for comment.

Cosmic Corner owner Mark Carswell was also unavailable for comment yesterday, but in a written statement said the company had purchased Juicy Puff "in good faith" from an Auckland firm, London Underground.

"Juicy Puff Super Strength is not intended to contain phenazepam, and Cosmic was not aware that it contained phenazepam."

He said Cosmic would co-operate fully with the Ministry of Health to ensure the product was recalled and would offer a store credit to customers who returned the product.

Stewart Jessamine, manager of Medsafe, the unit within the ministry that is responsible for regulating medicine, said that by early this week all shops should be aware of the ban.

Staff would begin checking stores and anybody caught knowingly selling the banned products could face charges under the Medicines Act and a fine of $20,000 or six months' jail.

Jessamine said the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) tested 43 cannabinoid-based products after being alerted to the number of people presenting in hospital emergency wards with unusual symptoms after smoking the products.

Those symptoms included disorientation, amnesia, confusion and sedation, and were to be expected in people who'd consumed cannabinoids in combination with alcohol and phenazepam.

Carswell said his industry's leaders would meet tomorrow to discuss a code of practice that would include tests to ensure that all incoming materials were screened for contaminants in the future.