Lawrence's Sacred Journey — a store at the center of the K2 controversy in Kansas — was shut down on Thursday, while a federal raid was conducted inside the business.
Officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Johnson County Sheriff's Office and Lawrence Police Department were seen Thursday morning packing up boxes of files and other items from inside the store, 1103 Mass.
Authorities on scene said the FDA was in charge of the investigation, but an agency spokesperson wouldn’t say why agents were there.
"The FDA does not comment publicly on criminal investigations," said Tom Gasparoli, FDA spokesman.
Lydia Shontz, who identified herself as an employee of the store, said when she arrived at work Thursday morning she was escorted away by police. She said officers told her they had obtained a federal search warrant and then interviewed her about the marijuana-like substance K2 and other items the store sells, including cactus plants.
“It sucks big-time, I knew that this would happen,” Shontz said of the search. “I honestly didn’t expect it to be this powerful.”
Customer after customer, many coming to Sacred Journey to purchase the controversial K2, was turned away by a police guard at the door.
“It sounds pretty ridiculous,” Tim Ford, who came from Olathe to buy K2, said of the raid.
Kansas House legislators this week passed a bill that would make illegal the sale or possession of K2, but that legislation has yet to become law. The bill is likely to hit Gov. Mark Parkinson’s desk this session.
Parkinson said he favors the proposal.
"I think it's great that they're moving on it," he said.
The House and Senate have passed versions of the bill by wide margins. Once differences are reconciled between the measures, the ban will go back to the House and Senate for final approval.
Law enforcement has said the herbal mixture, which is marketed and sold as incense, is being smoked by young people to get high.