The Izard County Sheriff's Department and the 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force executed a search warrant on the Conoco Snappy Mart on Highway 56, outside of Calico Rock. According to Sheriff Tate Lawrence, the business had been under surveillance for the past few weeks, after reports it was selling synthetic marijuana.
During a search of the business, investigators found more than 400 packets of the product inside the business, and in a vehicle belonging to the business owner. They were seized along with drug paraphernalia, including smoking pipes. The seized product was valued at more than $16,000 retail.
Formal charges are pending against the operators of the business, Ifran Rehman, 46, and his wife, Myong Rehman, 48, of Calico Rock.
Lawrence said the investigation included undercover purchases of the illegal product from the business.
In September, when a statewide ban took effect, one business in Highland was raided. Synthetic marijuana products were seized, and the store owner, who was not criminally charged, was warned to stop selling the product. A business in Hardy was also warned to stop selling the product.
Synthetic marijuana was first sold in the U.S. under the names K-2 and Spice, and is now sold under many different names. It is an herbal substance, which is sprayed with a chemical which mimics the effects of marijuana.
It was first banned by many Arkansas cities and towns after reports of users, who smoked the product, experiencing medical problems which sometimes resulted in emergency room visits.
Synthetic marijuana is currently illegal through an Arkansas Department of Health order. Possessing small amounts of the product is a misdemeanor, while possessing larger amounts or selling the product is a felony.