Amendments to The First Schedule of The Misuse of Drugs Act

31 May 2024

1.      CNB has completed a review of the First Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1973 (“MDA”), to ensure that New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) and emerging cannabinol variants can be dealt with as controlled drugs under the MDA.

2.        The following amendments will come into effect on 1 June 2024 (see Annex for details):

a) Listing of four NPS; and
b) Expanding the definition of ‘cannabinol derivatives’.

Global NPS Situation 

3.      The global NPS situation remains concerning. Novel NPS continue to surface every year. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Early Warning Advisory on NPS, there were at least 1,230 substances reported from 141 countries and territories as of November 2023, an increase from 1,182 substances reported in the previous year. 

4.        NPS abuse has been linked to adverse health conditions, including paranoia, seizures, hallucinations and even death.

5.        Listing the four novel NPS in the First Schedule will allow CNB to take enforcement action against those who traffic, possess, or consume these substances, or commit other offences under the MDA. CNB will continue to closely monitor the NPS situation and further respond as needed. 

Cannabinol Derivatives

6.     Cannabinol derivatives, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are compounds found in cannabis plants. CNB has noted the emergence of hexahydro derivatives, which are semi-synthetic cannabinoids that are reported to have the same harmful effects as THC. To allow us to take action against persons dealing in these new derivatives, we will expand the definition of ‘cannabinol derivatives’ in the MDA to cover them. 


31 May 2024