N.Y. AG announces consent order against head shop

Bryan Cohen Aug. 15, 2012, 12:30pm


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a consent order and judgment on Tuesday against the Nanuet-based Village Sensations to permanently remove mislabeled or unlabeled products from its shelves, including synthetic drugs.

The order and judgment, signed on Monday by Judge William J. Giacomo of the Westchester County Supreme Court, bans the sale of any synthetic intoxicants or drugs at the store. Smoken LLC, doing business as Village Sensations, must also pay $13,000 in penalties and $2,000 in costs as part of the judgment.

Temporary orders were also announced to remove synthetic drugs from multiple retailers, including the Rochester-based Look Ah Hookah, the Baldwin-based Daze Smoke Shop, eight locations of the Central- and Northern New York-based Tebb's Head Shops, the Oceanside- and Commack-based East Coast Psychedelics, the Poughkeepsie-based Giggles, the Albany-based Shining Star Enterprises, the Plattsburgh-based 20 Below/This and That, the Utica-based Goodfellas Alternative Smoke Shop, the Endicott-based Rolling Fire Glassworks, the Watertown-based Trip on the Wild Side II, the Syracuse-based Twisted Headz and the Buffalo- and Commack-based Pavilion International.

"The proliferation of synthetic drugs has become a crisis in Rockland County, New York state and across the country," Schneiderman said.

"The judge's order proves that, by taking a creative approach in using the state's existing labeling laws, we can get swift results to remove dangerous synthetic drugs off store shelves and hold sellers accountable for breaking the law. We will continue to use every tool in our arsenal to combat the growing and dangerous synthetic drug epidemic."

Members of Schneiderman's staff visited Village Sensations and bought items including nitrous oxide canisters and Mollys Mosquito Caps, an extremely dangerous substance according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. Schneiderman's staff also visited head shops throughout the state and found that retailers were selling designer drugs, including synthetic drugs like bath salts and synthetic marijuana. The shops allegedly promoted the dangerous drugs and gave tutorials on how to ingest and prepare the drugs.

New York state's labeling law requires that consumer commodity packaging include the name and place of business of the distributor, packer or manufacturer, along with the net quantity of servings, net quantity of contents, common application name and applications or uses represented with appropriate warnings and directions for typical use.

Schneiderman filed 12 lawsuits against 16 head shop locations on July 10, including Village Sensations, and received temporary restraining orders from all 12 judges within 36 hours. The orders effectively took the mislabeled products off the shelves. Schneiderman filed an additional lawsuit on August 1 against Tebb's Head Shops and John Tebbetts III, the company's owner, for allegedly selling synthetic drugs and bath salts in violation of the state's labeling laws.

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