Third generation synthetic cannabinoids update

18 November 2019

Synthetic cannabinoids are a group of compounds that mimic the effects of cannabis, which are commonly referred to as 'Spice' and 'Mamba'.

'Third generation' synthetic cannabinoids were originally controlled through a generic definition in December 2016, following advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). Due to the broad nature of the generic definition some compounds were unintentionally captured under this definition, inadvertently subjecting them to strict controls.

Following advice from the ACMD, the generic definition of 'third generation' synthetic cannabinoids has been amended to reduce the scope of the generic definition and exclude compounds which were unintentionally captured, removing them from control as Class B drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 and the Misuse of Drugs (Designation) (England, Wales and Scotland) Order 2015.

The amendments were made by SI 2019/1323 and SI 2019/1362 and came in force on 15th November 2019. The following provisions have been amended:

Paragraph 1(ca) of Part2 of Schedule 2 to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Paragraph 1(ld) of Schedule 1 to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

Paragraph 1(sa) of Schedule 1 to the Misuse of Drugs (Designation) (England, Wales and Scotland) Order 2015.

Please see HOC 009/2019 for further information regarding these amendments.

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