The key issue
The key issue relates to criminal convictions.
The case relates to a pharmacist who owned and managed operations at Cloud 9 Smoke Shop & Accessories, of which there were six stores across metropolitan Western Australia (Stores). The matter settled at mediation.
On 24 February 2015, Western Australia Police seized a product known as “Jungle Juice Platinum”, from one of the Stores which subsequent testing revealed contained isobutyl nitrite, a Schedule 4 drug and recreational drug. The respondent was charged, convicted and fined $2,000 for a breach of section 23(1) of the Poisons Act 1964 (WA).
Further searches at one of the Stores between November 2015 and 2 March 2016, found 82 packets labelled as herbal incense and potpourri, which were subsequently found to contain one or more synthetic cannabimimetics (derivatives of AB-PINACA which is a Scheduled Prohibited Substance under Schedule 9 of the SUSMP and a drug of addiction for the purpose of section 4 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 (WA)).
The respondent pleaded guilty to and was convicted of 17 counts of possession of prohibited drugs with intent to sell or supply and, on 28 September 2018, was sentenced to a global term of 24 months imprisonment, with parole eligibility.
In mitigation, the respondent had not practised as a pharmacist since May 2017, demonstrated insight into his conduct and expressed remorse for his actions.
The tribunal approved orders that the respondent is guilty of professional misconduct, be reprimanded, be disqualified from applying for registration for 2 years and be required to pay the Board’s costs of $2,000.
Criminal convictions, particularly those that have a connection to practice, will be treated very harshly by the regulator and tribunals.
The decision Pharmacy Board of Australia v Nguyen  VR 75 can be read here.