PASCGOULA, Miss. (AP) - Jackson County authorities say a new synthetic marijuana has made its way into the local market.
The Mississippi Press reports that one its reporters went to an unidentified convenience store and paid $21.40 for a one-gram package of Nola Diamond grape potpourri.
The newspaper says the unidentified clerk told their reporter that it has the same affect as the spice banned two weeks ago by Mississippi lawmakers. But, the clerk says, it has a different chemical so it's legal.
The newspaper reports the "potpourri" is distributed by Herbal Solutions, LLC in Marrero, La.
The package does not list what chemicals are present. The back of the package states, "Ingredients: Mullen leaf and a proprietary organic blend used to synergize and enhance aroma therapy. Not for human consumption. Not sold to minors. Lab certified. Does not contain JWH18, JWH73, HU210, CP47, or any other prohibited ingredients."
Karen Tran, who identified herself as a sales representative for Herbal Solutions, told the newspaper that she did not what chemicals are in the potpourri.
"I just sell it, but I know, it's legal in all 50 states," she said.
Tran said that the Herbal Solutions owner, Coung Tran, has lab results that clear him to sell the potpourri to stores in all states.
Gov. Haley Barbour signed Mississippi's anti-Spice law on Sept. 4, bringing an immediate end to retail sales. Mississippi was the 14th state to enact such a law.
Violators risk penalties that mirror those in the marijuana statute - up to three years in prison and a $3,000 fine for possession of an ounce or more.
Makers of spice products spray them with chemicals that mimic the effects of the active ingredient in marijuana.
Lt. Curtis Spiers, commander of the Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County, said that vendors hawking spice substitutes have
been working hard in the area.
They are "going into stores and telling them that their herbal incense is not spice and it's legal to sell," Spiers said. "Just because an out-of-state company says it's legal, it doesn't mean it is."
District Attorney Tony Lawrence said authorities knew the law would probably have to be amended several times in the future to keep up with new research.
"If these people continue to sell a product to minors that is dangerous and they teach or tell people how to roll it or even just to smoke it - that's a public nuisance, and I don't even need a statute to enforce that," Lawrence said.
Information from: The Mississippi Press, http://www.gulflive.com
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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