Business

Police wasting time on ‘alternative’ shops: retailer

Enchantments owner Ann Healy wants police investigating synthetic cannabis trafficking to stop targeting stores like hers.
Enchantments owner Ann Healy wants police investigating synthetic cannabis trafficking to stop targeting stores like hers. Amy Marshall

ROCKHAMPTON retailer Ann Healy says police should stop wasting time and resources targeting alternative lifestyle shops when it comes to synthetic drugs.

The Enchantments owner's comments come after Happy High Herbs in Mackay won a legal battle for the return of more than $50,000 worth of stock seized in a police raid on June 3 last year.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer handed down his ruling in favour of the natural herbs store in a Mackay court yesterday, ordering police to pay more than $8000 in legal costs.

The court heard the warrant was restricted to where there was a "reasonable suspicion" items contained synthetic cannabis. However the officer in charge of the investigation allowed the seizure of items outside these parameters.

Ann, who had more than $10,000 worth of alternative products seized from her own store in 2012, said the ruling set a precedent for those in the industry.

"We're happy to abide by the laws and regulations to keep consumers safe," she said.

"But what happens is the wholesalers are on one side of the fence and the authorities are on the other - retailers get stuck in the middle. It's highly unfair."

Ann said there was confusion surrounding the legislation and often they were the last to know about any changes.

"We trust wholesalers to do the research," she said.

"We really aren't the bad guys - like a publican or a tobacconist we are just there to sell a product."

Ann said she hoped the ruling would encourage police to "get smarter" when it came to applying the law.

Topics:  court mackay police synthetic cannabis



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