N.Y. head shop assessed $15K in penalties

Bryan Cohen Sep. 7, 2012, 12:34pm


POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a consent order and judgment on Wednesday against a Poughkeepsie-based head shop that will result in a permanent ban of mislabeled products and $15,000 in penalties.

GigglesWorld Corporation and Timothy M. Serino, the store's owner, allegedly sold mislabeled or unlabeled products, including street drug alternatives referred to as designer drugs. Schneiderman's agents purchased such items as Kratom, Salvia and nitrous oxide canisters from the store, they said.

"The proliferation of misbranded street drug alternatives has become a crisis in the Hudson Valley, 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 and broad relief to remove all classes of dangerous drugs off store shelves and hold sellers accountable for breaking the law."

Dutchess County Supreme Court Judge Robert M. DiBella signed the order and judgment on Wednesday permanently banning the sales of unapproved or misbranded drugs or intoxicants at the store. Schneiderman's agents allegedly found that designer drugs, including bath salts and synthetic marijuana, were being sold in head shops throughout the state. The agents also allegedly determined that head shop employees were promoting the drugs and gave tutorials on preparation and ingestion procedures.

Under the labeling law in the state of New York, consumer commodity packaging must contain the place and name of business of the distributor, packer or manufacturer, as well as the common product name, net quantity of servings, net quantity of contents, uses or applications of the product, and appropriate directions and warnings for customary use.

Federal and state authorities have attempted to outlaw certain chemicals and their analogs to stop the drugs from being sold, but the efforts continue to fall short as chemists and producers change the formulas to stay a step ahead of the laws.

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