Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, Attorney General and City Winning Battle Against Synthetic Marijuana

September 10, 2015

Contact: Kristen Lee
Assistant County Attorney
713-274-5315
Kristen.Lee@cao.hctx.net

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, Attorney General Ken Paxton and the City of Houston have won court orders against a number of retail establishments that sell synthetic marijuana, also called “Kush.”

In three separate cases, the governments have won emergency orders and obtained judgments that will prevent these stores from selling illegal substances that are harmful and a danger to the public.

“These synthetic marijuana products are marketed to children with cute names and bright packaging creating the false impression that they are safe,” Ryan said. “The defendants in these cases have no regard for the danger of these products and would have continued selling them if we had not stepped in with the Attorney General and City of Houston.”

Synthetic marijuana is a designer drug, often manufactured overseas, that is marketed as a “safe” and “legal” alternative to marijuana. Synthetic marijuana is not marijuana at all but a dried leafy substance that is sprayed with powerful, hallucinogenic chemicals that are dangerous and highly addictive to the user. Ingesting these substances can cause paranoia, psychotic episodes, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts. Persons who have ingested Kush have become violent and have suffered paralysis, brain damage, heart attacks and even death.

A temporary injunction has been issued against all nine local Katz Boutique stores, where undercover officers seized thousands of packages of Kush. The court ruled that the sale of these products violates several state laws. The injunction bars the Katz stores from selling items containing controlled substances or products with chemicals similar to controlled substances.

An agreed order has been reached with the owners of the convenience store and property located at 2709 Broadway. As with the Katz Boutiques, undercover officers bought Kush at this store and obtained evidence that the store sold 50 to 75 packages of Kush each day. The Broadway store is prohibited from selling Kush and other products containing controlled substances. If the court order is violated, the defendants could face losing their bond, closing of the store and fines or jail time.

The Almeda Food Mart, located on Kingspoint, is the subject of an agreed final judgment and permanent injunction against the owners of store and property. As with the others, the defendants are prohibited from selling illegal substances or any product that misrepresents itself to be safe when, in fact, it is not.

Click here to read the Katz court order.

Click here to read the 2709 Broadway order.

Click here to read the Almeda Food Mart order.