Smoke shop pharmacist pleads guilty

A West Australian pharmacist has pleaded guilty to a number of charges of illegally supplying synthetic cannabis

Hoang Nam Nguyen was facing nearly two dozen charges pertaining to synthetic cannabis supply, reports the West Australian, after legislation prohibiting its sale, supply, manufacture, advertising or promotion in the state was introduced in 2015.

Mr Nguyen is the owner of the chain of Cloud 9 smoke shops, which sells a range of smoking and vaping accessories.

In 2015, retailers of psychoactive substances, including synthetic cannabis, were contacted by police and asked to cease selling the products and dispose of remaining product by 18 November.

Reporter Tim Clarke writes that “with the ink barely dry on those laws,” police attended the Rockingham Cloud 9 store the next day,

Mr Nguyen and staff were then charged over the sale of synthetic cannabinoids labelled Mr Nice, Dark Phantom, Wild Joker and Illuminate Pineapple Extreme. Charges against the 17 staff initially named were later dropped.

Actives in these substances were revealed to include 5F-AMB AB-CHMINACA and FUB-AMB (indazole-based synthetic cannabinoid), which have been linked to a number of overdoses including that of a man who died on Kwinana beach days after the 2015 law came into effect.

Mr Nguyen has previously faced court over the importation of ice pipes.

He will be sentenced this month. The Pharmacy Board is also examining his case.

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