Fight against drugs: Commission initiates ban on two new harmful psychoactive substances

Today, the Commission is proposing to ban two new psychoactive substances across the European Union: MDMB-4en-PINACA and 4F-MDMB-BICA. The two substances are synthetic cannabinoids showing life-threatening toxicity. They have been available in the EU since at least 2017 and March 2020 respectively. Both substances are being sold online both in small and wholesale amounts, mainly as a finished product ready for consumption, for instance in smoking mixtures, e-liquids or impregnated on paper. 21 deaths associated with 4F-MDMB-BICA were reported in one Member State between May and August 2020. The decision to ban these substances is based on a risk assessment conducted by the EU’s drug agency, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. The Agency’s initial and technical reports are available online. This is the second time the Commission initiates a ban under the revised EU rules on psychoactive substances, after having done so for isotonitazene in September 2020. The European Parliament and the Council will now have two months to scrutinise the delegated act before it enters into force. Once in force, EU Member States will have six months to enact the ban into national law.