So yeah it is the Medicines Act that this is happening under. This has come from a Crown Law decision that under the MA, nitrous for sale as a recreational drug is illegal. However, there are still other ways it can be sold, ie for food. Prosecutions will be discretionary. So we are looking at a similar situation to the sale of bongs, pipes, vapourisers etc. You can sell them but not for the purposes of consuming cannabis. Which is why there are a hell of a lot of bong-shaped incense holders around. So stores can continue to sell nitrous, but not for the purposes of inhalation.
Now this is dumb. People will continue to use nitrous recreationally. I would much rather see it being sold in specialist ‘party’ stores where they enforce a R18 policy and have trained knowledgable staff. When I last purchased nitrous, I was able to ask the staff member about safe limits of consumption, the differences between products and what the side effects were. This was so I could make an INFORMED decision about what I was putting in my body. Now, if I was to go into my corner dairy and buy nitrous canisters, I would be pretending I wasn’t going to inhale the contents, I wouldn’t be able to ask any questions, and I wouldn’t be informed. How does that contribute to the national drug policy’s stated goal of harm reduction?
I really hope one of the stores out there holds strong, continues to stock nitrous and contests this decision.