On May 23, 2017, two retail shops were sued by Wisconsin’s departments of justice and consumer protection. The Milwaukee stores broke the law as they falsely advertised synthetic THC as household products.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the lawsuits request that a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge prohibit the stores, Atomic Glass and Food Town Mini Mart, from continuing to sell the products.
Wisconsin legalized possession of cannabidiol oil on April 17, but it did not legalize a mechanism to produce it or sell it; and while synthetic cannabinoids are comparable to THC, the synthetic version has a different chemical makeup that causes it to be unpredictable and dangerous.
“I will not tolerate any drug dealer putting our communities at risk. We work hard to bring all illicit drug dealers to justice, whether their retail venue is on the street or at a store,” said Brad Schimel, Wisconsin’s attorney general.
According to the lawsuits, the drugs were labeled as incense and potpourri. Nowhere on the packaging were there warnings for on the products’ true identity, which law enforcement claims subject consumers to potential injuries.
An undercover officer found that instead of keeping products on display, Food Town Mini Mart tried to keep a low profile by requiring customers to use drug-related jargon to purchase the hidden drugs.
Atomic Glass has been much more open with their dealings. In 2010, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the retail store’s owner, David Kelly, sold approximately 10 packages per day of the synthetic drug. The lawsuit is holding Kelly accountable for this admission.
“Wisconsin and much of the United States has been awash in hundreds of new and dangerous psychoactive drugs, putting our youth at risk,” said Robert Bell, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Agent in Charge.
If Wisconsin wins the lawsuit, the two stores will have to pay a maximum of $200 per mislabeled package.