Legal News Line Jun. 11, 2015, 2:15pm


A Colorado Springs convenience store and its owner will have to pay a record $1 million civil penalty for selling synthetic cannabinoids, said Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman on Wednesday.

Popo Wee Mart was allegedly selling the illegal substance commonly known as Spice. The store was sued by the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section in May 2014 even after the products were seized from the property in an earlier raid by law enforcement agents.

“Spice is a very dangerous product that needs to be taken off the street,” Coffman said. “I hope this significant penalty will send the desired message to other retailers who think about selling Spice that the penalties for doing so will be extreme.”

Over the last seven months Coffman's office has obtained three Spice-related judgments from the courts. In September, Longmont-based Tobacco King, owned by Lemmings Inc., was ordered to pay $100,000 by the Boulder County District Court. Then in November, another $100,000 penalty was handed down by the Arapahoe County District Court against Aurora-based retailer Paymon's Market.

The El Paso County District Court ruled in Popo Wee Mart's case that due to the earlier seizures of the Spice products the store and owner had knowledge that the product was illegal and dangerous.

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