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How to get a licence

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All people and businesses who want to retail, wholesale, import, research, manufacture, or sell unapproved psychoactive substances must hold a licence granted by the Authority under section 16 of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013. Licences are required to ensure that there is a level of regulatory control and traceability over these functions.

Part of the licensing requirements is that all applicants will have Police vetting as part of the “fit and proper person” test in section 16(2) of the Act. Checks will also be made to confirm that any body corporate that applies for a licence is of “good repute”.

Applications for licences must be made to the Authority on the requisite forms. Please read the forms carefully and be aware that there will be no refund of fees if your application is rejected due to incompleteness or incorrect information.


Retailers and Wholesalers

An application for a retail or wholesale licence can be downloaded from the Licence application forms and guidelines page.

Prospective retail sites must comply with the local approved products policy (LAPP) put in place by the territorial authority (city or district council) in which the site is located. You should check and make sure your retail site complies with the relevant LAPP before applying for a licence because application fees are unlikely to be refunded for failing to meet the LAPP.

For more information on licences to sell approved products by retail or wholesale please refer to the Psychoactive Substances Licensing Scheme Guideline.

The Licensing Scheme Guideline and a link to the LAPPs in place can be downloaded from the Licence application forms and guidelines page.


Importers

Customs NZ stops all psychoactive substances at the border. A condition of an import licence is that the licence holder must inform the Authority of the importation prior to the import, and provide the Authority with the name and quantity of the psychoactive substances to be imported, and the intended date of importation. This will allow the Authority and Customs NZ to work together to ensure that only licensed importers are importing psychoactive substances and to track where the substance goes once it enters New Zealand.


Manufacturers

In order to be granted a manufacturing licence, you must prove that you are compliant with the Code of Manufacturing Practice.

It is strongly advised that you contact an experienced regulatory affairs consultant to ensure that your manufacturing site, procedures and processes meet the Code.

Licence fees
Application for a licence to import psychoactive substances  $2,500
Application for a licence to manufacture psychoactive substances $19,000
Application for a licence to research psychoactive substances  $2,000
Application for a licence to sell psychoactive substances that are not approved products  $2,000
Application for a licence to sell approved products by retail $12,000
Application for a licence to sell approved products by wholesale $7,000
Annual levies
Licence to import psychoactive substances  $7,500
Licence to manufacture psychoactive substances $42,000
Licence to research psychoactive substances $3,000
Licence to sell psychoactive substances that are not approved products $2,000
Licence to sell approved products by retail $7,000
Licence to sell approved products by wholesale $6,000

Do not send money with your application. You will be invoiced for the amount after acceptance of your application.