KBI investigating synthetic marijuana cases across the state

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has executed 10 search warrants to businesses in three Kansas cities following a seven-month investigation into the sale of substances containing a form of synthetic marijuana.

Search warrants, and the subsequent seizure of the substances — sometimes labeled as “potpourri” — were executed at the Blitzed Detox Shop in Emporia, and the All Out Detox and Price Right Smoke Shop/JKL Liquor, both in El Dorado, according to a news release issued by the KBI Thursday.

Several other search warrants also were executed at businesses and residences in Emporia, El Dorado and Arkansas City.

Thursday’s announcement comes on the heels of a raid of a business in Garden City in July by the Drug Enforcement Agency as part of a nationwide investigation into the sale of banned synthetic substances. Along with synthetic forms of marijuana, law enforcement agencies have also been fighting against the sale and use of “bath salts,” which have mind-altering properties when ingested.

Kansas has been on the forefront of the fight against synthetic drugs, becoming the first state in 2010 to ban the chemicals found in substances with brand names such as “K2” and “spice.” Various chemicals have been added to the banned list in the past few years, including a federal ban on altered chemicals used in bath salts and marijuana-like smokeable mixtures.

In late 2009, the K2 substance, then legal, was a popular product at the Lawrence business Sacred Journey, 1103 Mass. The store was raided by federal agents in June 2010, shortly before the state ban on such substances went into effect. No charges were filed against the business.

In December 2010, Kansas University student Elijah Taylor died when he was hit by a vehicle after jumping into traffic on Interstate Highway 135 in Salina. Toxicology results showed Taylor had ingested synthetic chemicals before the incident.

— Reporter Shaun Hittle can be reached at 832-7173. Follow him at