Surprise: Yet another smoke shop selling the synthetic drug kush under the counter has been sued by the Harris County Attorney's Office, with a judge granting a temporary restraining order against Texas Tobacco and Smoke Shop on Wednesday.
In the same way that virtually every smoke shop in the area gets busted (haven't they figured this out yet?), an undercover police officer came into the store and asked for some kush, which he found misleadingly packaged in bags saying "not for human consumption." The store's owner, Sayed Ali, even offered to sell him some "Dro," a street name for hydroponic marijuana.
After the substances tested positive at the Houston Forensic Science Center, Houston police returned with a search warrant. At the Telephone Road smoke shop, they recovered 3.65 pounds of kush, 3.6 pounds of "unknown substances suspected to be dangerous drugs" and also synthetic urine for beating those pesky drug tests.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Sayed Ali and cashier Elizabeth Schmidt were arrested on felony delivery of synthetic cannabinoids charges. Schmidt is not a party to the lawsuit; co-owner Azmina Ali is an additional defendant in the suit.
“My office will continue to work with law enforcement, the Attorney General’s Office, and city officials to send the message to store owners these dangerous designer drugs will not be tolerated in Harris County.” County Attorney Vince Ryan said in a statement.
While the county attorney's office has been pursuing kush-selling smoke shops for more than two years, the City of Houston and HPD began cracking down in June. Since then, police have seized more than 900 pounds of kush and made more than 200 arrests.
Yet for whatever reason, many shops continue to apparently think they are safe from undercover narcs.