China issues total ban on synthetic cannabinoids

China says it will include all synthetic cannabinoids in its list of banned drugs, described for the first time in the world, to curb their manufacture, trafficking and misuse.

BEIJING – China said on Tuesday that it would include all synthetic cannabinoids in its list of banned drugs to curb its manufacturing, trafficking and misuse, which it has described for the first time in the world.

This is the second time that Chinese authorities have imposed a class-wide ban on a substance, as all the drugs related to fentanyl were controlled in 2019.

The United States states that China is a major source of synthetic drugs that are then shipped to users in the US

Chinese officials said that 18 other new psychotropic substances would also be banned. The changes will take effect from 1 July.

Officials said 1,047 types of new psychoactive substances had appeared by the end of 2020, of which about 450 were found in the last five years.

Officials said that between 2018 and 2020, about 300 cases known locally as “Natasha” synthetic cannabinoids occurred in Xinjiang, while more than 300 fluorocetamine cases were found in the southern region of Guangxi.

Last year, Shandong narcotics officials revealed large-scale manufacturing and smuggling of synthetic cannabinoids in 13 provinces and more than 40 cities, officials said. He said 360 kilograms (790 lb) of synthetic cannabinoids were seized.

“The problem of new psychotropic substances has been fierce, presenting serious challenges for drug control work of all countries and the world. It is a new situation and a new problem and a new challenge for China as well,” National Narcotics Control Commission Deputy director of Deng Ming said at a press conference.

Penalties were not specified in the ban but China routinely executes those convicted in drug cases.


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