Local Approved Products Policy (LAPP)
The Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 regulates the manufacture and sale of psychoactive substances, also known as “legal highs”.
The Ministry of Health, which administers the Act, is developing a regime for testing, and the subsequent licensing, of approved substances for sale. The Ministry has given assurances that the testing system will ensure that only products which are safe for use will be legally available. Psychoactive Substances have been withdrawn from sale pending these systems being in place.
The Act gives local authorities the power to develop, in consultation with their communities, a Local Approved Products Policy (LAPP) which regulates where within the local area, these products may be sold.
A LAPP regulates the location of premises where psychoactive substances may be sold by reference to broad areas, including by proximity to specific facilities or types of facilities.
A LAPP cannot ban psychoactive substances, or regulate to such an extent that it effectively creates a ban. It is also not the role of Councils to issue licences, or make decisions about numbers of licences. This is the role of the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority.
Policy Consultation and Adoption
The public consultation on the LAPP took place between 3 December 2013 and 20 January 2014. Submissions were heard on 27 November 2014 and Council adopted the LAPP on 3 September 2015. The long time frame for this policy to be adopted was the result of uncertainty about the direction of Government Policy.
Although it is likely to be some time, if not a few years, before psychoactive substances will again be legal to purchase, having a LAPP in place will provide guidance to the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority when it comes to issuing licences in the future.