Authorities seized almost a pound of synthetic marijuana, totaling over $6,400, during a search warrant June 14 at King Tobacco in North Branch. No arrests were made at the time of the search, but charges are pending.
According to a press release provided by North Branch Police Chief Dan Meyer:
Officers with North Branch Police and deputies of the East Central Drug and Violent Offender Task Force served the search warrant, which was part of an investigation into allegations that King Tobacco, 6063 Main Street, Suite D, was selling synthetic cannabinoids, an illegal substance that is also known as synthetic marijuana.
During the investigation, undercover agents purchased products that were sold as herbal incense yet marketed and commonly used as a substitute for marijuana.
During the search warrant, agents seized more than 250 one and three-gram packets of the illegal synthetic marijuana, totaling 446 grams (15.7 ounces or just short of a pound) with a retail value of more than $6,400. Agents also seized over $8,000 in cash.
Synthetic marijuana is defined by Minnesota state statute and is illegal to possess or sell. It is produced by spraying natural herbs with synthetic compounds that, when consumed, mimic the effects of marijuana. These products are considered dangerous as they contain toxic chemicals and can produce psychotic episodes in users.