Spice sellers: Bring out your dead

As I wrote the other day, retailers of synthetic marijuana products opened their doors Tuesday morning to the potential of being in possession of illegal substances. The US Drug Enforcement Agency published a final rule, effective 1 March, that assigned five synthetic cannabimimetics to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

One Boca Raton, Florida, manufacturer preemptively turned in to local police 600 pounds of herbal incense stock – with a retail value of over $155,000.

Today, Paul Woolverton reports in The Fayetteville (NC) Observer is reporting that retailers can still turn in their stocks of products to the DEA without fear of prosecution:

[Lawyer David] Courie said his clients want to get rid of their spice inventory without getting arrested. He said he has contacted law enforcement to make arrangements.

The stores may give up their spice, K2 and other synthetic cannabinoids “within a reasonable period of time” at a DEA office without fear of arrest, said DEA spokesman David Levey. The nearest office is in Raleigh and can be reached at (919) 790-3004.

“We understand that retailers need to be able to make this transition,” he said.

Levey said some local police departments also will take it. A spokesman late Friday at the Fayetteville Police Department did not know whether the department will take the drug; the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office is not accepting it, said spokeswoman Debbie Tanna.

Of course, retailers who have bought their products wholesale really have no idea whether their current stock contains legal or illegal compounds. And I still contend that law enforcement will not be going around to retailers with a mobile LC/MS lab. So, how do you know what to throw out and what to keep?

Reminds me of the line, “I’m not dead!”

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4 Responses to Spice sellers: Bring out your dead

  1. Dave says:

    Consider this, retailers whom do not stop selling any form of synthetic marijuana or cannibinoids will find themselves in a conundrum. If you are selling illegal substances and paraphernalia commonly used for ingesting tobacco then all your smoking accessories including rolling papers are now in violation of N.C. statutes on sales of drug paraphernalia. “Illegal” would now include any form of smokable cannibinoids regardless of what type of substance you put it on. Doesn’t matter what you call it, or how you sell it for consumption or incense, if caught you will lose your store and all your merchandise. Anyone whom has known a “head shop” owner will tell you it is a bad idea to invite law enforcement into your store by playing with “grey areas” in the law. Nearly every head shop in the State was raided and closed down in 2003-2004 and that was just for an “interpretation” of the term “drug paraphernalia”!

  2. David Kroll says:

    Indeed, Dave – I have written a couple of times about how the grey areas of the laws might actually be intended to discourage people from even being involved in this business. The fact that definitions are so diffuse and the laws erratically enforced creates confusion and continuous anxiety among people associated with the purely legal side of this business.

  3. Christoph Copeland says:

    There really is no “grey areas” anymore. The new list has done away with that. You now have to be “50 State Legal” to be able to be sold. The govt. put the new list into effect so that’s that.

  4. Christoph Copeland says:

    And I’m talking about herbal incense by the way……