Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has won court orders against two Spring Branch smoke shops to stop them from selling vaping oil laced with illegal chemicals.
The added-in chemicals, generally known as synthetic cannabinoids, are manmade, mind- altering chemicals that are either sprayed on plant material (Kush) or sold as a liquid to be vaped in e-cigarettes or other devices. They are dangerous and highly addictive to the user. They are also illegal in Texas. Also called “Spice” and “K2,” synthetic cannabinoids can cause rapid heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts. Illicit drug manufacturers are adding synthetic cannabinoids to CBD (cannabidiol) oil, which is often used with a vaping device. Law enforcement agencies report increased use of “laced” CBD oil, particularly by teenagers and young adults. The tainted CBD oil is also sold by retail stores as “gummie” candy.
Ryan has filed more than a dozen lawsuits to stop retailers from selling Kush and in a number of cases put the retailers out of business. On Tuesday, Ryan filed lawsuits against Smokey Doke Smoke Shop, 5784 Bingle, and Dreamerz Smoke Shop, 2961 Bingle, for selling CBD oil tainted with synthetic cannabinoids. From February through April, undercover narcotics officers with the Houston Police Department purchased CBD oil products, which later tested positive for controlled substances. On May 1, HPD narcotics officers executed search warrants at the two stores and seized CBD oils, pills, edibles and synthetic urine (which is also illegal).
The County Attorney’s lawsuits claim that the stores are a nuisance and their owners violated the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act by selling products they claimed were safe and legal, when in fact they are unsafe and illegal.
Judge Larry Weiman of the 80th District Court of Harris County entered restraining orders, ordering that the stores immediately stop selling illegal CBD oil products.
“These drug manufacturers and the store owners who sell these products are causing severe harm to Harris County residents, particularly our young people,” County Attorney Ryan said. “Whether it’s Kush or CBD oil, the County Attorney’s Office will continue our efforts to stop these sales and protect our residents.”