Most of the designer drugs sold in head shops worldwide and specialised online stores are produced in Asia, so the decision of the Chinese government to dramatically expand the list of controlled substances could have a paralysing effect on global availability for entire categories of research chemicals.
In recent days, there was a lot of noise around the new regulation that will make dozens of popular research chemicals such as AB-CHMINACA & Ethylphenidate illegal in China. Since many countries are currently working to legislate those substances out of the market, this wouldn’t be a game changer unless for the fact that a huge percentage of all novel drugs were produced within Chinese borders and then shipped in bulk to third-party sellers. If the news story turns out to be correct, global supply of diverse and inexpensive psychoactive substances could be interrupted almost completely.
The original source of the buzz was a list published on Reddit, claiming that 116 chemicals were identified and outlawed by the Chinese Food & Drug Administration (CFDA). The list is quite comprehensive and contains some of the most sought after RC’s such as MXE, 5-MAPB, 5-Meo-DALT, 3,4 CTMP, 2-AI, MDAI, and Ethylphenidate, while a whole bunch of synthetic cannabinoids is included as well, with AB-PINACA, AB-CHMINACA, MAM-2201 and JWH-015 among the best known examples. The ban is effective immediately, which means the first shortages could be felt within weeks, perhaps even faster, since even shipping already produced quantities towards Western markets will now be subject to huge risk.
Unfortunately, it was impossible to verify the reports independently, so all of this could be much a do about nothing. Asuming the ban is real, its relevance can’t be overstated – the entire cottage industry that developed over the few couple of years could nearly disappear overnight. Majority of substances from the list are already illegal in most developed countries, so it is unclear whether another Asian or African destination would take over the production or the market would simply dry up.
Check back in a week, as more info will hopefully get out once the dust settles.
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