Texas AG Reaches $1.75M Settlement in Synthetic Marijuana Case

Katz Boutiques
Photo: Katz Boutique Website

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reached a $1.75 million settlement agreement with a Houston boutique chain stopping the sale of synthetic marijuana in their stores.

The agreement comes as the Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has been cracking down on stores selling the dangerous synthetic drug following a series of high profile incidents of drug overdoses and adverse reactions.

The OAG reached a $1.75 million agreement with Katz Boutique and its owner Bao Quoc “Tony” Nguyen over an a Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (TDTPA) violation and violations of Texas nuisance laws, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from the Texas OAG. The complaint rose out of the stores’ sales of synthetic marijuana.

Nguyen agreed to pay the settlement and entered into an Agreed Final Judgement and Permanent Injunction barring the sale of synthetic marijuana in the future. The store chain is located all across Harris County and sells adult novelty items and smoking accessories.

The Texas OAG teamed up with investigators from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force and the Vice Unit to conduct undercover buy operations where they obtained evidence used in the lawsuit.

“Over the course of four months in 2015, undercover HCSO officers purchased multiple packets of synthetic cannabinoids labeled as ‘Kush’ from Katz Boutique,” OAG officials stated. “The packets deceptively labeled the main ingredients as innocuous-sounding legal plant substances such as ‘lemon balm,’ ‘passion flower,’ and ‘wild lettuce.’ Furthermore, the packets also claimed to be ‘lab certified’ and legal for sale in all 50 states.”

Doctors across Texas have reported severe reactions from the use of these synthetic cannabinoids. Some of those reactions include severe paranoia, psychotic episodes, violent delusions, kidney damage, suicidal thoughts, and self-mutilation. In one case reported earlier this year by Breitbart Texas, a naked man fell off the roof of a house after having smoked the synthetic marijuana and carried out “revenge sex” with his neighbor’s wife. He claimed his neighbor had sexual relations with his wife first.

First responders in Austin, Texas, have dealt with a rash of synthetic marijuana overdoses in recent weeks.

Since first filing the TDTPA lawsuit against Katz Boutiques last year, the OAG has carried out a series of raids and lawsuit filings in Corpus Christi and Houston.

Evidence collected during the lawsuit revealed the stores sold over 90,000 packets of synthetic drugs to Texas consumers since 2013 and made millions of dollars from sales of illegal drugs, the OAG stated. Businesses often market synthetic cannabinoids as being safe without disclosing they are dangerous and illegal.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.

Katz Settlement Agreement

Signed Katz AFJPI