A new Mandurah store which is yet to even open its doors is already causing outrage in the community.
Cloud 9, which sells smoking paraphernalia including hookah pipes, bongs, rolling papers and cone pieces is setting up shop in Smart Street Mall, with an opening date of November 12 confirmed yesterday by store management.
Despite Cloud 9 publicly states the shop does not “condone, promote or incite the use of any illegal or controlled substances nor wish to induce anyone to act in conflict with their national or local laws,” it’s presence on one of Mandurah’s busiest tourist strips has been deemed inappropriate by local MP David Templeman.
“Clearly these sorts of premises are cause for concern,” he said.
“I know in Rockingham there have been ongoing issues.
“Unfortunately [these shops] are an attractant to unsocial behaviour.”
Nearby shop owners have also expressed concern, with one retailer, who did not wish to be named, claiming the area already attracted an anti-social crowd on weekends.
“This is the last thing we need here,” the business owner said.
“On the one hand we’ve got the Government trying to stop people smoking, but then something like this is allowed.
“We don’t want it here.”
Cloud 9 management said their smoking products and paraphernalia were for “tobacco use only and not for illegal use”.
But in June this year Police Minister Liza Harvey requested a police investigation on whether laws were being broken by the shop which now has a handul of outlets in the metropolitan area.
Around the same time, Planning Minister John Day expressed concern over the location of the shops and asked his department to look into the matter of legislation.
Cloud 9 neither sought, nor was required to seek, Council approval to move into the city-centre premises.
Similar shops have fallen foul of the law in recent years over the retail of synthetic drugs, an issue Mr Templeman said he would be keeping an eye on.
“Any place that is the possible seller of synthetic drugs is a major cause for concern,” he said.
“I would hope police take particular notice of this.”
There is no suggestion Cloud 9 sells such drugs.