Amid growing reports of health issues caused by the use of quasi-legal drugs in Japan, the government held a closed-door meeting on Friday to discuss ways to better regulate them on the market and prevent abuse.

The health ministry reported that, combined with National Police Agency investigations, by the end of August, around 300 stores in the country were found to be selling quasi-legal products known as “kiken drugs” ("hazardous drugs") or new psychoactive substances — products that technically are not illegal but are partially altered versions of cannabis and stimulants that are sometimes deemed more harmful than the drugs themselves.

Investigations over the circulation of these drugs in the country were carried out following reports of incidents since March of this year where patients were rushed to the hospital after having taken a kiken drug. The stores that sold the products were later raided.