Ninth death from synthetic drug this month

Police are investigating what they say could be the ninth "synthetic cannabis" death in Auckland alone within a month.

A 31-year-old woman was found dead in Kelson, West Auckland, on Thursday night. She is thought to have been smoking the drug "a short time before her death", police say, although there may have been "other contributing factors".

Last week police issued a warning after discovering up to seven people had died from the illegal substance, which they say could often be laced with unknown chemicals. More than 20 people were being treated by St Johns Ambulance daily, ranging from teenagers to middle-age.

Since then, two more deaths have been linked to the drug.

The Government has admitted it has no idea where the lethal strains are coming from.

"We don't have any idea whether this is a batch being supplied from overseas, or whether it's materials being concocted together in New Zealand," Peter Dunne, the MP behind the legislation, told The AM Show on Thursday.

"I suspect it's going to be a bit of both."

Police say they're working hard to get the drug off the streets.

"Every day, Police officers across the country are conducting search warrants and seizing synthetic cannabis and we are continuing to put suppliers and manufacturers before the courts," says Acting Detective Inspector Peter Florence.

"Just yesterday, our staff apprehended two people in St Lukes who were in possession of up to three kilograms-worth of synthetic cannabis."

Information on anyone known to be providing or supplying synthetic cannabis can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.