Mr Ford said the Psychoactive Substances Act, which received royal assent on January 28, will be implemented in the spring. It will prohibit the production, supply and importation of such drugs, with offenders facing up to seven years in prison.
“This Act will considerably enhance the powers available to our enforcement agencies to stop those intent on supplying these harmful substances here in Northern Ireland and across the UK,” he said.
“It is an important milestone in the efforts of the Westminster Government and the devolved administrations, and represents a significant change in approach to the emergence of these substances.
“My Department, alongside others within the Executive, will continue to work with both the Home Office and others across Northern Ireland to prepare for commencement of the new law in the spring of this year.”