23 Oct 2014

Capital to consider drug sales sites

8:21 pm on 23 October 2014

Wellington residents will soon be able to have their say on where any legal psychoactive products could be sold in their city - if they return to the shelves.

Synthetic cannabis and a pipe.

Synthetic cannabis and a pipe. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

A temporary ban on selling the products was imposed in May but, under Government regulations, some products could be on the shelves next year.

The Wellington City Council voted to put four options for areas before the city's residents next month.

Community, sport and recreation committee chair Paul Eagle said the council's preference was for the substances to be sold in the south of the city.

"Down by Courtenay Place, and we're saying that in terms of that location, it's the best location for us to enforce it, for us to have it away from schools and for us to ensure that people are able to sell their product, should they even be able to," she said.

Mr Eagle said he was expecting a huge influx of submissions.

But opposition is already coming to the fore.

Cuba Street shop owner Clare Bowden said she had already lost customers because the drugs were sold in nearby shops.

"The gangs were involved in buying up supply of it and distributing it through kids around the city in backpacks," she said.

"It was open slather every day.

"It put a great deal of people off the mall and taking different avenues to work."

It would be disastrous and shoppers would not come back for a long time if the drugs returned, she said.