ALERT charges Medicine Hat woman for trafficking synthetic marihuana

ALERT charges Medicine Hat woman for trafficking synthetic marihuana

March 4, 2013


Medicine Hat…ALERT‘s Medicine Hat Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU), an integrated team of Medicine Hat Police Service and RCMP members, has charged one woman following an investigation into the trafficking of synthetic marihuana in Medicine Hat.

CFSEU began an investigation into a product sold at a local retailer under the name “Spirit 4:20 Premium Herbal Incense.” Investigators had the product analyzed by an RCMP laboratory and it was found to contain a banned substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. About 50 packages of Spirit 4:20 were seized.

One woman, the owner of the business, has been charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and trafficking a controlled substance. She is due to appear in court on April 2. 

Synthetic marihuana is often found in head shops or convenience stores and is marketed as smokeable herbal incense, despite warnings on the packaging that the product is not intended for human consumption. Many are sold as a legal alternative to marihuana, however, they are often sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids, which are banned substances.

“Our real concern with these products is that they can contain dangerous chemicals,” commented Staff Sergeant Joe West, head of CFSEU-Medicine Hat. “They are sold under the guise of incense, but are often smoked to obtain a marihuana-type high. Consuming them in any way can be extremely dangerous.”

Last week, Health Canada warned consumers about the risks associated with “synthetic marihuana” products sold in Canada.

“Health Canada does not recommend consuming any of these products as they are rarely labeled with an accurate ingredient list and consuming them may lead to adverse health effects.”

Reported symptoms range from acute psychosis to seizures.

CFSEU-Medicine Hat is an ALERT team established and funded by the Government of Alberta to bring together the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources and tools to combat organized crime. Over 400 municipal police, RCMP, and sheriffs work for ALERT.


Media inquiries may be directed to:
S/Sgt. Joe West
CFSEU-Medicine Hat
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams

Candace Cook
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams