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Shop stops selling legal highs
2:23pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
A SHOP in Colchester has agreed to stop selling legal highs.
The Gazette carried out an undercover expose at Sheppards in Eld Lane after several children were hospitalised when they took products allegedly bought at the Colchester shop.
Six months later and Essex County Council Trading Standards has completed its own investigation into the shop and similar premises in Clacton.
And the shop owner has now agreed to stop selling them.
Officially known as novel psychoactive substances - but more commonly legal highs - these are products which are marked “souvenirs” or “plant food” or “not for human use” but in reality are only used by people to get high.
But neither those taking nor selling no exactly what is in them and the drug authorities are struggling to keep up with legislation leaving shops free to sell them.
Roger Walters, cabinet member for Trading Standards at County Hall, said: “This was by no means an easy investigation to undertake but I am glad it has resulted in the destruction of these products and assurances from the business that it will no longer retail and wholesale these products.
“We have worked to help stop Novel Psychoactive Substances being offered for sale from retail premises in Essex and have worked with Essex businesses to enlist their help, support and to ensure they understand their responsibilities to the consumer to sell safe products.”
Following the reports in the newspaper police and members of the Trading Standards drug and alcohol team raided the shop.
A number of products were confiscated and the shop was suspended from selling several legal high products until the sanction was lifted.
Much of the stock was then destroyed by Essex Police after tests found the products were not safe.
A spokesman for Trading Standards said: “The business has considered its position and agreed to stop retailing and wholesaling these products with immediate effect.
“The business was issued with a formal warning letter.
“The team has identified all of the business’s suppliers of this particular range of products [none of them in Essex but all within the UK] and have contacted the relevant Trading Standards authorities to inform them of the supply chain.”
Trading Standards will continue to monitor the business.
Anyone concerned about substance misuse call call Choices on 0844 499 1323 or text Choices to 80800.
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