The Government is to move to restrict the marketing and sale of the synthetic cannabis product Kronic, along with similar drugs.
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has directed officials to impose new regulations on the products once Parliament passes changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act in the next few weeks.
Under the smoke-free legislation, the sale of Kronic to anyone under 18 is already illegal, but once the law change is passed, Mr Dunne says, the Government will be able to make synthetic cannabis a restricted substance.
That means it will not be able to be sold alongside alcohol, or from places such as sports clubs or vehicles.
Advertising of it outside premises where it can be legally sold will be forbidden, and it will also bean offence to buy such products and then supply them to someone under-age.
Mr Dunne says the view of the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs has so far been that Kronic has a low health risk, but he is seeking fresh data.
He told Checkpoint he is also looking at the new drugs as part of a wider issue. He says he would like to see new drugs tested and proven as safe before they enter the market, as opposed to after.