Synthetic cannabis dealer to be sentenced

  • 21/07/2015
Synthetic cannabis dealer to be sentenced

A Rotorua businessman who legally sold synthetic cannabis dealer before it was banned last year is to be sentenced next month for continuing to trade in the illegal product.

David Ronald Young will be sentenced in the Rotorua District Court on August 26 for possessing psychoactive products for sale and supply and other charges related to the substance.

Young, 51, pleaded guilty on July 3 and was remanded in custody. His appearance was excused when the sentencing date was set on Tuesday.

Young, who owned Rotorua's Skingraft Store, was found with large amounts of bulk synthetic cannabis and related products at various locations between September and October last year, according to a police summary of facts.

Police searches revealed more than $100,000 in cash at his home, office, workshop and car.

He is understood to be the first legal synthetic cannabis dealer to be prosecuted for continuing to sell it after it was banned last May.

Prior to the ban, Young was named the Rotorua Daily Post's Newsmaker of the Week, saying in an accompanying interview he'd voluntarily returned four boxes of synthetic cannabis to the manufacturer after the government announced the ban was pending.

Young said then there were going to be both positives and negatives of the product being banned until proved safe.

Just over 130 people were prosecuted for selling or distributing non-approved psychoactive substances between May and December last year, according to Ministry of Justice figures.