CHATHAM COUNTY, GA ? Any convenience store that still has synthetic marijuana or bath salts products on store shelves is taking a huge risk in doing so.
A local convenience store owner may be facing criminal charges following an undercover operation conducted by the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT), reports WSAV News 3.
CNT received information that the Landings Corner Convenience Store was possibly selling synthetic marijuana to teenagers. During the investigation, CNT successfully made one purchase, but agents were denied in a second attempt. Last week agents searched the store and seized 39 individual packages of synthetic marijuana worth an estimated street value of $975, notes the news source.
"Obviously in this case you have one or two shops in the area that are choosing to sell it, despite their knowing it's illegal," said CNT Investigator Gene Harley. "Even in this particular case, the items weren't out in the open on shelves. They were being kept underneath the counter. You had to ask for it a certain way."
On October 21, 2011, CNT agents personally delivered letters to local gas stations and convenience stores throughout Chatham County advising that synthetic marijuana is extremely dangerous and the contents may contain a controlled substance. On March 27, 2012, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law ?Chase?s Law,? which makes all forms of synthetic marijuana illegal in the state of Georgia.
In July, President Obama signed into law the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, which contains a provision that makes synthetic drugs like synthetic marijuana and bath salts controlled substance and therefore illegal to sell on store shelves.
As a result of the new law, sale and distribution of synthetic marijuana and bath salts is now classified by the federal government as the sale of controlled substances and is treated in a manner similar to the sale of cocaine, ecstasy and other illegal drugs.