In this week’s issue, New Times Broward-Palm Beach (which, like Toke of the Town, is part of Village Voice Media) looks closer at the rise and eventual crack down on the synthetic cannabinoid industry.
Over the past three years, manufacturers and retailers of so-called “herbal incenses” have popped up in all 50 states. It quickly became a multibillion-dollar industry built on products that had names like Crazy Eyes, Cowboy Kush, and Skull Killa.
It’s actually a horrible misnomer to call these substances “synthetic marijuana” or “fake pot,” because they actually have nothing to do with real cannabis, and unlike herbal cannabis, they can be dangerous.
Until two months ago, many of these herbal incenses remained legal because state and federal lawmakers couldn’t keep up with the onslaught of new chemicals being churned out by overseas labs and imported by herbal-incense manufacturers. Whenever the government banned one synthetic cannabinoid, chemists simply tweaked their formulations to concoct new, legal replacements that still got people stoned.