Drug Enforcement Unit Busts Soldotna Tobacco Shop for Synthetic Cannabis

image31-12-2015 10.48.15Alaska State Troopers revealed on Thursday morning that a Soldotna woman, listed as the co-owner of the Soldotna tobacco store, “Tobacco Distress,” as well as her husband, were arrested and remanded for selling synthetic marijuana on Wednesday.

Search warrants were served at the tobacco store, and the home of 33-year-old Phillip and 26-year-old Loren Kneeland, and as a result, “over 6,000 packets of suspected and confirmed controlled synthetic cannabis were seized along with other evidence of distribution,” the trooper dispatch reported.

An investigation into the smoke shop was initiated in October after it was brought to the attention of the Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit that the business was selling “Spice,” or synthetic cannabis. As a result of that initial investigation, 518 packets were seized from the business and sent to the State Crime Lab for analysis. That testing showed that 146 of those packets contained chemicals that have been designated as Schedule IIIA controlled substances in the state.

With names like “Spice,” “K2,” “Scooby Snacks,” and “Mr Happy,” and labeled as natural, and harmless, many unsuspecting consumers think that the synthetic cannabis products are safe, but instead, they can be much more dangerous and unpredictable than marijuana. Health implications reported from these synthetic products include, heart arrhythmias, hallucinations, seizures, strokes, acute kidney failure, violent episodes, and even death and suicide.[xyz-ihs snippet=”adsense-body-ad”]

Looking at the product, it looks safe and natural, but the compounds that are sprayed or soaked into the various herbs used, is invisible to the naked eye. While drug officials on national and state levels work to outlaw the compounds used, underground chemists quickly substitute other unregulated, untested and potentially dangerous substances in order to continue distribution of these dangerous items.

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As a result of the investigation and seizures on Wednesday, Phillip Kneeland was arrested and remanded to the WIldwood Pretrial Facility on charges of Misconduct Involving Controlled Substances III and IV as well as Misconduct Involving Weapons II. Loren Kneeland was arrested on the charge of MICS IV.

SDEU states that the investigation is continuing.[xyz-ihs snippet=”Adversal-468×60″]