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Courts / Law

Synthetic Marijuana Producer in Tampa Under Investigation

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There's a story in the Tampa Bay Times about a pretty nasty chemical that's been found at a Tampa facility that makes synthetic marijuana.

The Tampa Bay Times says EPA and OSHA investigators have been called in to evaluate the safety of a Tampa warehouse after police did a routine inspection of the facility. The officers were overwhelmed by the fumes which burned their eyes.

Acetone is a flammable solvent that is commonly found in nail polish remover.

No arrests have been made.

The warehouse, located at 6308 Benjamin Road, is where authorities say large quantities of synthetic marijuana are produced, packaged , and distributed to the local market.

Deputies have been inspecting many local production/distribution centers following Gov. Rick Scott's legislation banning certain chemical compounds, and as the law changes to ban more and more chemical combinations, manufacturers change their recipes to keep their business legal. 

At the Tampa warehouse, police found packages called Kush Pink and Mind Wave in brightly colored foil. They say it's a sure sign the drugs were targeted for young people.

Sheriff Spokesman Larry McKinnon says, "There's a significant difference between synthetic marijuana and other over-the-counter substances people abuse, Gold paint and glue are not packaged to attract young people — not packaged with Spider-man, Scooby Doo and placed in the candy aisle where kids are buying chewing gum. They are confined to hardware stores and hobby shops."

The operators of Natural Herbal Solutions assured inspectors that the formula in question complied with state law. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's office has reached out to several businesses and stores, many of which have stopped stocking the products.