Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff
Three Houston smoke shops are under investigation after authorities said they found extracts made with synthetic substances similar to those used in Kush, an illegal drug that plagued the city two years ago with several overdoses and prompted wide crackdowns.
In the recent cases, officers with the Houston Police Department Narcotics Division bought the extracts — called CBD oil — from multiple smoke shops in Houston and tested them in a lab, Houston police said.
Police said three of those shops sold oil containing synthetic cannabinoids, found in Kush and often wrongfully called synthetic marijuana. Houston officers seized “large quantities” of the CBD oil from the shops after serving them warrants on May 2, officials said.
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City and county officials have scheduled a news conference on the seizure of the oils at 2:30 p.m. today in the Houston Police Department’s downtown headquarters.
The three smoke shops are Fantasy, 1412 Westheimer Road; Smokey Doke, 5784 Bingle; and Dreamerz, 2961 Bingle.
Those shops are also being sued in civil court for being a nuisance, and they are under an injunctive order stopping them from selling illegal substances, police said.
CBD oil, an extract from marijuana or hemp plants, is often used to relieve pain from chronic medical conditions.
What can make it illegal is the presence of synthetic cannabinoids — chemicals that can mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
Sprayed on a mixture of leaves, synthetic cannabinoids create a drug called Kush. City leaders have previously cited huge problems with overdoses.
In one instance in June 2016, 16 people overdosed on Kush in one afternoon in Hermann Park.