Police say they will be proactively enforcing a ban on legal highs now that a new law has come into effect requiring dairies, convenience stores, service stations and other outlets to clear their shelves of legal highs such as synthetic cannabis and party pills.
The Psychoactive Substances Act, which became law at midnight, bans the sale of such products unless they have been approved by an official regulator.
Only specialty shops such as Cosmic Corner will be able to apply for an R-18 license so they can continue to sell legal highs.
Hempstore manager Chris Fowlie supports the ban but believes the legislation has been rushed through.
He says his store is now in limbo as it waits for official approval to sell legal highs again and warns that customers may turn to harder drugs in the meantime.
Deputy police commissioner Mike Bush says police will be taking an educative approach with stores for the first few weeks before strictly enforcing the new law.
He says there has been significant concern in communities about the harm these substances are causing and the law will allow police to respond more effectively.