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A.G. Schneiderman Announces Settlement With Watertown Smoke Shop For Illegally Selling Designer Drugs

Trip on the Wild Side II Found In Contempt For Selling Mislabeled And Misbranded Drugs, Barred From Selling Kratom And Cannabidiol Products

Trip On The Wild Side II Will Pay $10,000 Penalty, Turn Over Revenue from Illegal Drug Sales

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced that a consent order and judgment has been entered in his contempt case against Kenneth Wayne Hamm, who owns and operates a head shop in Watertown, NY called Trip on the Wild Side II. The Attorney General brought a contempt case against the business in August 2017 after discovering that Trip on the Wild Side II was unlawfully selling mislabeled and misbranded drugs in violation of a 2012 court order that explicitly prohibited such illegal sales. This settlement specifies that Trip on the Wild Side II is further barred from selling misbranded and mislabeled kratom and Cannabidiol (“CBD”). Additionally, the company must pay a penalty of $10,000 to the State and turn over to the Attorney General’s office all revenue from the sales of those drugs totaling $1,838.

“Misbranded and mislabeled drugs sold to the public are dangerous and illegal,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office will continue to hold accountable businesses seeking to profit at the expense of New Yorkers as we take on the drug crisis facing our communities.”

Beginning in 2012, the Attorney General has undertaken an initiative to remove street drug alternatives and designer drugs from the shelves of stores across the state. Trip on the Wild Side II was one of the first stores that the Attorney General took action against, securing a permanent injunction against the business in 2012 prohibiting the sale of these dangerous street drug alternatives. The Attorney General established that the products were being illegally sold because they did not comply with state labeling and branding laws, as the product packaging variably failed to list usage directions, health warnings, dosage information, manufacturer information, or other information required by law.

In 2017, the Attorney General’s investigation revealed that Trip on the Wild Side II was in violation of that permanent injunction, and was selling multiple forms of misbranded and mislabeled CBD, including “Heady Harvest” CBD gummy bears, “Hemp Bomb” pills, CBD crumbles, CBD cartridges for vaping, and CBD Cherry Syrup. Employees at the store also told an undercover investigator that they were preparing to sell kratom products, and gave him samples to try which were also mislabeled and misbranded.As part of the consent judgment, the store was required to turn over to the Attorney General’s office all remaining inventory of its kratom and CBD products.

These mislabeled drugs have psychoactive effects similar to those of more commonly known street drugs, but they are typically packaged with innocuous labels and graphics to give the misleading impression that they are harmless. Designer drugs have contributed to a growing public health crisis in New York State and across the nation. In Jefferson County, calls to poison control for synthetic drugs are up 250 percent since 2011, according to a 2016 report issued by the New York State Senate.

The investigation was conducted by Investigator Chad Shelmidine. The Investigations Division is led by Chief Investigator Dominick Zarrella.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Watertown Regional Office, Deanna R. Nelson, and Assistant Attorney General Alicia M. Lendon. The regional offices are led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs Martin J. Mack.