Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman Announces Largest Settlement Against Retailer of Dangerous Spice Products
DENVER – The Colorado Attorney General has reached the largest civil settlement in the U.S. against a store owner for selling spice. This settlement with Colorado retailer “O’s Pipes & Tobacco” is one of four spice-related cases that the Attorney General filed between September 2013 and May 2014. With this settlement, the Colorado Department of Law has successfully resolved all four cases, including O's Pipes & Tobacco, Tobacco King - Leaming Inc., Paymon's Market Inc., d/b/a Paymon's Mini Market, and PoPo Wee Mart, LLC.
“Our efforts are impacting the open sale of spice products in our state,” said Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman. “But we will continue to be vigilant and ensure that store owners know they will face stiff penalties and the closure of their stores if they choose to sell dangerous spice products.”
Under the terms of the Consent Judgment, Mr. Orlando Martinez, the owner of “O’s Pipes & Tobacco” will pay a civil penalty of $160,000 as follows: (1) initial payment of $40,000; (2) a second payment of $40,000 within four months; and (3) monthly payments of approximately $2,222.23 for a period of three years.
BACKGROUND: On September 9, 2013, investigators with the Attorney General’s office and the Department of Revenue carried out an undercover purchase of spice products at “O’s Pipes & Tobacco.” After the undercover purchase, the Department of Revenue removed 1,319 total packages of spice products. The Colorado Bureau of Investigations tested four of the removed products and all four tested positive for synthetic cannabinoids. Some of the spice products contained ADB-PINACA, the synthetic cannabinoid that was associated with a spice outbreak in the fall of 2013 that sent 221 individuals to local emergency rooms.