Police say they seized hundreds of packets of synthetic marijuana from a Roseville business during compliance checks Tuesday night — a day after Macomb County banned people from selling the substances commonly called K2 or Spice.
The owner of Smokers Alley in the 27700 block of Gratiot and a store employee were arrested on unrelated charges and have not yet been charged with a crime, Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said.
Police said they found marijuana and a gun that was illegally possessed. The West Bloomfield men were later released from custody, and officers said they plan to seek input from prosecutors on how to proceed with the synthetic marijuana find, Berlin said.
The ban in Macomb County falls under the state’s Public Health Code to immediately inform people affected by the “imminent danger” to health or lives. The drug has been linked to hospitalizations and is said to cause rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, seizures, paranoia, loss of physical control and hallucinations.
The list of communities working to ban synthetic marijuana continued to grow Wednesday.
Waterford, Southfield and Warren announced they would consider ordinances. Detroit, West Bloomfield and Wayne County already have enacted rules. Oakland County announced a plan last week to give merchants who sign pledges not to sell the drug a county-sponsored decal for their store window.
Although many officials throughout metro Detroit praised communities for taking action, some legal experts have said that some of the new rules may be difficult to enforce.
Macomb County Health Officer Steven Gold said he didn’t have all the details surrounding the incident in Roseville, but he said “if the order is violated, then we would go to court.”
Spice or K2 is plant material sprayed with chemicals that can mimic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana.
Manufacturers have been able to skirt state law prohibiting the sale of substances used to make K2 and Spice because they change the formulas in the products to get around those banned substances, officials said.
Michigan lawmakers are considering bills to ban the possession and sale of synthetic marijuana and bath salts. The legislation would allow the state to temporarily ban a substance if the director of the Michigan Department of Community Health, working with the Michigan Board of Pharmacy, deems it an imminent danger to people’s health.