Tobacco King store sued and owner arrested for allegedly selling synthetic pot known as 'spice'

LONGMONT, Colo. - Colorado's Attorney General is suing a tobacco store in Longmont for allegedly selling "spice," the illegal synthetic marijuana that has recently been linked to deaths and illnesses. The owner of the store was arrested Monday for related charges.

Carolyn Tyler, spokeswoman for Attorney General John Suthers, announced the civil lawsuit against Tobacco King Monday afternoon. In the announcement, they identified Sang Leaming as the owner of the store and alleged the business sold spice without warning customers the synthetic drug could contain dangerous chemicals.

Tobacco King was raided by agents of the Colorado Department of Revenue, Liquor and Tobacco, Tyler announced. More than 1,000 containers of spice were confiscated by those agents.

Leaming's store is accused of knowingly selling products labeled as potpourri or incense that would be consumed to cause the user to get high. The spice was sold "in the colorfully-marked packages named Happy Tiger, Scooby Snax, Cosmic Kratom, Black Magic, Mad Hatter, 2012, High Roller Plant Food, Prism, Jamaican, and Funkey Monkey."

Funkey Monkey was one of the product names investigated last month in connection with the three deaths and dozens of illnesses caused by spice.

"The Attorney General's complaint does not allege that Tobacco King's product was the cause of any of these recent emergency room visits. The Complaint does, however, include a report from a Longmont mother whose teen-aged son became ill after smoking a spice product sold by Tobacco King," Tyler wrote. "Leaming and Tobacco King would have had no idea what chemicals were sprayed onto the spice products they sold as the packaging does not state the contents."

The lawsuit was filed in Boulder County Court and Tyler says the Boulder District Attorney has also filed criminal charges.

The Boulder DA confirmed Leaming was arrested Monday for one count each of possession of a synthetic cannabinoid and distribution of a synthetic cannabinoid.