Police investigating dangerous synthetic cannabinoids circulating in Christchurch

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Nov 11, 2022 |

Police have confirmed they’re investigating “one of the most dangerous synthetic cannabinoids” circulating in Christchurch.

Harm reduction agency High Alert said a “particularly dangerous batch of synthetic cannabinoids” has been linked to serious hospitalisations in Christchurch, and possibly a death.

High Alert is a new organisation that has input from clinicians, the Drug Foundation, Health, Police and Customs.

At least two people are thought to have died in the Taranaki region after using the substance last year.

Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department Emergency Medicine Specialist Dr Paul Gee told Chris Lynch there have been two presentations due to the side effects of synthetic cannabinoids use recently at Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department. 

“Synthetic cannabinoids are a group of dangerous chemicals that can vary in strength.

They are often diluted and sprayed onto plant material, leading to inconsistent concentrations and different levels of harm.”

High Alert is currently investigating further synthetic cannabinoid-related incidents in the Christchurch area.

A police spokesperson said “we currently don’t know what substance is responsible (for the recent hospitalisations) and we don’t have other information at this time, other than what has been published on the High Alert website.

National Drug Intelligence Bureau staff are currently investigating.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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