Tobacco Shop In North Branch May Face Charges For Synthetic Marijuana
On June 14th, 2013, officers with the North Branch Police Department and deputies of the East Central Drug and Violent Offender Task Force served a search warrant at King Tobacco in North Branch.
We learned through a press release that the warrant was the culmination of an investigation into allegations that the shop was selling substances commonly known as synthetic marijuana.
During the investigation into the activities of the business, undercover agents made purchases of products sold as herbal incense that are marketed and used as a substitute for organic marijuana.
During the search warrant, agents seized over 250 one and three gram packets of illegal synthetic marijuana totaling 446 grams, with retail value of over $6,400. Agents also seized over $8,000 in cash.
No arrests were made at the time of the search warrant, but charges are pending.
Synthetic marijuana is defined by the Minnesota state statute, but prosecuting individuals involved in selling it is difficult because manufacturers continually change the chemical components which produce the intoxicating effects. The press release states that the products are extremely dangerous as their chemical components can produce psychotic episodes in users.