AG Paxton obtains $9.5 million judgment halting synthetic drug sales at Houston smoke shop
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that his office obtained a permanent injunction stopping Good Timez Boutique & Smoke Shop, its owners and landlord from selling highly-addictive and dangerous synthetic marijuana to consumers in Houston.
The District Court of Harris County entered a judgment that the shop remain closed and defendants pay $9,520,000 in civil penalties.
Jose Alfaro, the owner of Good Timez, was arrested in 2014 for selling synthetic marijuana from the same smoke shop to undercover officers, as well as for possession of ‘precursor’ chemicals used to manufacture controlled substances and two pounds of synthetic marijuana found inside his vehicle.
In 2016, Good Timez, under the same ownership, was again discovered selling synthetic marijuana, commonly referred to as “kush.” The packages of kush contained false, misleading and deceptive statements claiming that the product contained “no prohibited chemicals or materials,” and was “legal for sale” in all 50 states. Over 200 packets of kush were seized from the store during the investigation.
“Synthetic drugs are not just illegal, they pose a number of potentially devastating health risks to users,” Attorney General Paxton said. “These smoke shops put young lives at risk by selling them dangerous substances falsely advertised as safe and legal. My office will continue to do everything within its power to protect Texans from this growing threat.”
Synthetic drugs are substances sprayed or injected with a synthetic cannabinoid and deceivingly sold to users as a “legal” high. The dangers of synthetic cannabinoids are widely reported and include severe paranoia, psychotic episodes, violent delusions, kidney damage, suicidal thoughts and self-mutilation.
Under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, manufactures and distributors of synthetic cannabinoid can face civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation.