Not a lot of people see Broadway as a great investment in the best of times, let alone the last few years in this economy. If you did somehow find a way to make money, you'd be forgiven for just pocketing the cash. And there's Micah Riggs, owner of the coffee Wonk and the subject of this week's feature ("Buzz Factory") taking the money he's made from K2 and Syn incense and trying to build up Midtown by investing his own money in new businesses.
But it looks like Riggs, and at least half-a-dozen other Kansas City businesses, are going to lose a lot of sales very soon. The Drug Enforcement Administration has issued an emergency ban on five chemicals used to create the various strains of fake reefer.
This year, Kansas and Missouri both issued bans on the synthetic cannabinoids that were the active ingredients in K2 -- the alpha of synthetic pot. Chemists just adjusted the formula to stay legal and keep the customers happy. Across the country, at least eight states have enacted bans on variations of those compounds, with others publicly debating their own versions. The DEA ban, a temporary order, will criminalize the compounds nationally for the next 12 to 18 months while the Department of Health and Human Services researches all those three gram bags. In that time, a national ban could also be put through the proper legislative channels.
The banned chemicals are JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol.
While I'm not fan of Big Brother stepping in, frankly it's a good thing that someone will be doing research on this stuff, as the long-term health effects have never been explored. What are the Vegas odds on whether inhaling a mysterious chemical on a regular basis is bad for you?
Riggs has said he'll continue to sell Syn until the ban goes into effect at the end of December.
For more on how synthetic cannabinoids were discovered in a Clemson University research lab more than 15 years ago, and the rush to get them off shelves, check out "Fake Reefer Madness." And if you want to know what all the fuss was about but didn't feel like toking yourself, I recommend the Pitch Action News Team's own product test.