Students get ‘hippy crack’ from corner stores selling it as whipped cream chargers

  • 'Hippy crack' or nitrous oxide can be easily found as whipped cream chargers on corner stores
  • Online services have door-to-door services
  • Cannisters can be found strewn along Manchester's streets
  • NQ teams up with Fanshawe College in Ontario to work on joint investigation

‘Hippy crack’ continues to flood Manchester’s streets as stores and online services sell them under the guise of whipped cream chargers.

The shiny metal cannisters contain nitrous oxide, a colourless gas, with cannisters commonly found on the streets of Manchester and consumed by students and other young people.

It is illegal for individuals to consume the drug, but a loophole means it is legal to sell cannisters to improve the shelf-life of whipped cream.

Cannisters are sold as whipped cream chargers by corner stores and online services.

A shopkeeper from one such corner store confirmed to reporters from the Northern Quota that whipped cream chargers were available at the store.

The only thing stopping our reporter buying the drug was the question: “What are you going to use it for?”

The General Product Safety regulation 2005 states that retailers should not sell products which they suspect could be used for dangerous activities. But, this seems to be vague and easily avoidable.

Two students confirmed to NQ that online services exist which run door-to-door delivery for nitrous oxide cannisters.

A GMP officer NQ spoke to said that he personally had not come across people consuming the drug, but said it would be more likely that people would be arrested if they too nitrous oxide it while driving as opposed to consuming it privately.

Student journalists at Fanshawe College produced the following report in conjunction with NQ.