A DESIGNER drug formerly sold in Chester city centre will be illegal from Friday (April 16).
A formal Parliamentary process completed on Tuesday means the so-called legal high mephedrone will become a Class B drug.
Possession of the drug could result in a five-year jail term and the maximum sentence for dealing the drug will be 14 years.
Two weeks ago a shop in Chester was raided by Trading Standards officers after investigations revealed the drug was being sold there.
A total of 148 units of mephedrone were removed from Dr Hermans Chester store.
The shop was opened in Chester in 2003 by Sean Ellman, son of Liverpool Riverside Labour MP Louise Ellman, who has a chain of shops across the North West including Liverpool, Warrington, St Helens, Manchester and Leeds.
Reported side effects from inhaling mephedrone include:
Sweating and chills
Short term memory loss
Tightened jaw muscles
Prior to being banned mephedrone was labelled for sale as a plant food or bath salt to bypass restrictions on products for human consumption.
A month ago several arrests were made in Ellesmere Port over the drug, also known as m-cat (from its chemical name MM-cat), meow, bubble and white magic, which is reported to produce a similar reaction to Ecstasy.
Executive member for area and community services Cllr Lynn Riley said: “The dangers of mephedrone, or meow meow, have been well-publicised nationally.”
The banning of mephedrone comes after it was linked to several deaths in the UK.