Opportunity – approached by the guy, and he decided to invest into it after trying it and realizing this was no normal pill-alternatives for drugs to help his friends Successful and recognition- become profitable and taking a sum out of the alcohol section. He had contact with the government- bent the legislation to fit his drugs – introduced another class of drugs (outcome)STANZ – Social Tonics Association N.Z – Problems with the labels – Tired to get regulation for the industry but was unsuccessfulPeople started coming up with other products, bring sold in dairies etc, he backed out of supply side of industry – but continued to advocateBZP banned 2008. Social entrepreneurship- Measurements of successOverview of what Matt is doing now – Still exploring and expanding into overseas markets, in contact with the government and involved in legal reform, working from home, family.
Approached by advertiser who had these pills – wanted to set up a company and market these.. Matt tried on and discovered they were an alternative for illegal drugs, so they started importing them from England and distributing them Marketing to existing drug users Set up website, radio advertising, 0800 number, call center, couriers, FAQ & Support Line
Convincing retailers – we cant sell things like that, offered them 100% mark up and they saw potential, when customers kept coming back-it become a main part of cash flow for some of these vendors whom were subsequently able to expand and develop. Contacted for TV story by Greg Boyd
Greg Boyle asked misleading questions which then edited to make it appear that Matt was making claims, then took it to the Ministry of health, then Med Safe lodged a complaint with Advertising Standards Authority and it went to court. Felt the law wasn’t there to stop you from telling the truth and so substainated his claims with scientific evidence and it held up in court. Ephedrine which the pills contained had become a restricted medicine in 1998, so they ordered a recall of the pills. Wiped him out financially.
“There's obviously a consumer need out there for these psycho stimulants, but there's an issue in that they are addictive, they cause brain damage, they cause these horrific behaviours and in some cases they can cause death... I was working with a neuropharmacologist and said well why don't we try to find something that will meet the same needs as methamphetamine, but without the same levels of harm.”Main Objectives: Legal, safe alternatives for existing community of drug users – that didn’t criminalize users. Harm Reduction – Dance community “If we could meet the consumer need without the harms, we could build a better society.”So anyway coming to New Zealand realised that some people are still using these psychostimulants, lets make a product for people that are choosing psychostimulants like amphetamines and give them a safer alternative. Started giving it to people and found that it worked, people were saying hey I can take this, it meets the same need, I'm using methamphetamine because the social activities that I'm attending start at 12 o clock at night and go through to 6 in the morning, and coffee doesn't cut it, so when I take this drug it allows me to socialise. And when we gave them BZP instead it still met the same need for a large number of people. So it worked.
Hempstore was selling Matts pills Act MP Heather Roy has said, he’s selling drugs! They’re illegal overseasAgain spoke to the ministry of heath-media pressure forced action from government I wondered what Sunday Star Times was, I thought maybe they are there to report the news, and tell the truth about things that are happening. No, they are there to sell newspapers, I didn't realise that, so their story was about a politician
"When you put pressure on supply without reducing demand, you reduce the quality of the drugs out there, more people get sick, more people die and the value gets artificially inflated to the point that more people take the risk of producing, so no matter how many methamphetamine cooks they put in jail all that happens is you get the skilled guys and remove them so more unskilled people start cooking methamphetamine of poorer quality”Illegal but no prosecution, fitting the laws around what he was doing Established new Category –class DNZ Government banned BZP, 2007 (moved from Class D to C)
Liquor board – commerical barriers – unethical STANZ – Jim AndertonNot all competitors were aligned with Matts objectives Began seeing dangerous combinations and products from competitors Stargate’s ongoing work, particularly in off shore markets – IP offshoreOngoing work with the Government and involvement with Legal Reforms
Stargate presentation slides
Matt Bowden <br />Stargate International <br />Intbus 705 | Advanced Entrepreneurship Case <br />Developed by Chelsea Griffin, Jess Maher, ØyvindBjørnsmoen, Samira Ibrahim <br />
Presentation Outline <br />Historical Context <br />The first Opportunity <br />Challenges & Barriers <br />Opportunity Two <br />Political Pressures & Media<br />Regulation & Social Entrepreneurship<br />The rise and fall of “party pills”<br />
Spotting the Opportunity<br />Performance Car Magazine 1997/8<br />Approached by Advertiser with this pill<br />“I learned that they had a purpose and that they were a safer alternative to illegal drugs.. I thought, oh that's interesting yeah, there's probably a market for that” <br /><ul><li>Importing from England & distributing them
Marketing to existing drug users </li></li></ul><li>Creating an Enterprise<br />Set up website, radio advertising, 0800 number, call center, couriers, FAQ & Support Line <br />Rapid rise to popularity <br />Convincing retailers – Hempstore<br />First Media Contact, TV story by Greg Boyd<br />“And I learned that the retailers were relying on this, it was becoming a major part of their cashflow, which was quite amazing.” <br />
Overcoming the barriers<br />“So they've got these laws put in place which are just big commercial barriers... they say you're not allowed to make any claim that any product does anything at all to the body, otherwise it's a restricted medicine, you can go to jail” <br />Greg Boyd, Ministry of Health, MED Safe, Advertising Standards Authority, the Courts & Product Recall <br />“I substantiated my claims... it actually washed, and I thought well isn't that cool, you can stand up to laws and they kind of meld around you.”<br />
If at first you don’t succeed…<br /> Australian investor & exposure to the unregulated side of industry <br /> 2000 returns to NZ <br />“I vowed in my heart that I'd never be steamrolled like that by the government again, and that next time I'd come back with something better and I'd last more than 6 months.”<br />“If we could meet the consumer need without the harms, we could build a better society.”<br />
The Beginnings of BZP<br />“There's obviously a consumer need... but there's an issue in that.. they cause these horrific behaviours.. we try to find something that will meet the same needs as methamphetamine, but without the same levels of harm.”<br />Had been through clinical trials<br />Got hold of some BZP, pressed up some pills and started to market them & it was working <br />
Political & Media Pressures <br />“I wondered what Sunday Star Times was, I thought maybe they are there to report the news, and tell the truth about things that are happening...”<br />Sunday Star Times – Politician story <br />Nandor Tanczos –had shares in Hempstore<br />“A lot of our friends are addicted to methamphetamine, some of them are actually dying around us... none of us can really put up our hand and ask for help because we're all technically criminals now.. we think that's wrong.”<br />
Regulation & Compliance<br />National Drug Policy<br />Supply Reduction – ie: Law enforcement & border control <br />Demand Reduction – ie: Education<br />Provide Treatment - ie: Rehabilitation Clinics<br />Methamphetamine Reduction Plan <br /> Matt represented the “dance community”<br />
Explosion of the Industry <br />Industry Regulation over unethical behavior as industry grew<br />Rapid increase of competitors, unethical behavior <br />“so my first attempt with the first pills got six months, and next time I got eight and a half years” <br />