Temporary DEA ban on synthetic marijuana in effect Tuesday

Kyle Potter

A cellophane package of K2

Synthetic marijuana products like this package of K2 can’t be sold for at least a year.

Headshops across the country have pulled synthetic marijuana products off their shelves in accordance with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s year-long ban that went into effect today, according to a Pioneer Press article.

The DEA announced in late November they intended to use their emergency scheduling power to ban the sale and possession of five of the chemical compounds commonly used in “fake pot” products.

Products using those chemicals, like K2 and Spice, will be illegal for at least a year while the DEA researches the compounds. The DEA has the authority to extend the ban for another six months.

After the 12-18 month period, the DEA will issue a final ruling whether the substances should be permanently classified as Schedule I drugs – drugs that are”unsafe, highly abused substances with no medical usage,” according to the DEA website. Schedule I drugs include marijuana and heroin.

“We have the authority to use our emergency powers to schedule substances that might be harmful to the public, and we certainly believe this is,” DEA spokesman Rusty Payne told the Daily in January. 

Four Minnesota headshops that are suing the DEA for their ban – including the Hideaway Head Shop in Dinkytown – still have to comply with the ban, even though their suit is still ongoing. Marc Kurzman, the attorney who represents the four stores, recently filed another suit in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota, and a petition for review of the case in the U.S Circuit Court of Appeals.

District Court Judge Patrick Schiltz threw out Kurzman’s first case against the DEA in late January.