Herbs sold not on temporary ban list
THE founder of the Uki-based Happy Herb Company is adamant the company does not sell any synthetic drugs that are temporarily banned by the NSW Government.
A team of more than 100 Fair Trading officers will enforce the ban across the state from today, after Fair Trading minister Anthony Roberts prohibited the sale of 19 products on Sunday under Australian Consumer Law.
Stores found selling the illegal drug substitutes, or any products with similar effects, could face fines of up to $1.1 million.
Despite Happy Herb Company franchise stores and products being incorrectly featured on Channel Nine's Today Show, founder Ray Thorpe said he supported the ban.
"Those products are awful stuff that are hurting people and totally goes against what we are in business for," he said.
"The company was founded on harm reduction and providing safe legal alternatives to legal and illegal drugs.
"I support the ban of those dreadful, harmful products."
The synthetic drugs contain chemicals designed to mimic the effects of cannabis, methylamphetamine, LSD and cocaine.
The ban comes in the wake of the death of Sydney teenager Henry Kwan who died last Wednesday when he fell from the third floor balcony of his family's unit after taking a tablet designed to mimic the effects of LSD.
Mr Thorpe said he had been sent many samples of the banned substances but he refused to sell them, especially after testing a synthetic cannabinoid out.
"I tried it at home and I thought I was dying ... it was the first time in my life I had tried this sort of thing and I couldn't move," he said.
"I called the person who sent the sample and said how dare you send products like that, this stuff is harmful."
Therapeutic Goods Administration has ordered Happy Herb stores to stop selling two herbal products since the company was founded in 1995.
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