Texas attorney general stops synthetic marijuana sales in Houston

Texas attorney general stops synthetic marijuana sales in Houston

Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Jan. 19 that his office has filed a lawsuit and obtained a temporary restraining order stopping synthetic cannabinoid sales at the Texas Tobacco and Smoke Shop in Harris County. Store owners Sayed Ali and Azmina Ali violated the Deceptive Trade Practices Act by selling synthetic cannabinoids to consumers without disclosing that the substances are illegal and potentially dangerous. Synthetic cannabinoids, known as Kush or synthetic marijuana, are illegal in Texas.

During a visit to the Texas Tobacco and Smoke Shop, an undercover officer from the Houston Police Department purchased 25 packages of Kush, which tested positive for synthetic cannabinoid. A subsequent search of the store turned up more of the drug along with “stash cans” used to hide drugs. Sayed Ali and Elizabeth Schmidt, the store’s cashier, were both charged with delivery of synthetic cannabinoids, a felony.

The packets of drugs seized by police were either blank – which fools customers into thinking the contents are safe – or had labels such as “100% Cannabinoid Free/DEA Compliant,” wrongly suggesting that synthetic cannabinoids are legal.

Attorney General Paxton urges all parents, school officials, and community leaders to be aware of the dangers of synthetic drugs. It is against the law in Texas to manufacture, deliver or possess a synthetic cannabinoid. Synthetic drugs have been linked to overdoses in Texas and throughout the United States and can cause paranoia, hallucinations, seizures, psychotic episodes, suicidal thoughts, and death.

- Office of the Texas Attorney General