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St. Petersburg Convenience Store Owner Charged with Selling Synthetic Pot

For the first time, St. Petersburg police arrested and charged someone with selling synthetic marijuana. Meherun Nessa, the owner of a St. Petersburg convenience store, allegedly sold illegal "spice" or "K-2" to an undercover detective on February 4th of this year.

After receiving a tip that illegal spice (K-2) was being sold at Nessa's Drive Thru on 5820 9th Avenue N., the officer reportedly purchased two spice packages labeled "Mr. Happy Potpourri" from Nessa.

Nessa was not charged immediately because the "Mr. Happy Potpourri" had to be analyzed in a laboratory first. "Spice" is only illegal if the contents include specific chemicals prohibited by Florida law. According to authorities, lab analysis of the two packages revealed the presence of the chemical XLR-11, a Schedule 1 narcotic listed under the emergency order enacted by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in December.

The packages purchased by the undercover detective had a yellow smiley face on the front and contained four grams of "spice".

Nessa was charged Wednesday with felony sale and possession of a controlled substance. After her arrest, Nessa told police she was aware it was illegal to sell "spice", but typically only sold it to people she knew. She also told police that she stopped selling "spice" in her store since the February 4th incident. She removed the items from her store after receiving a flyer from police concerning synthetic drugs and "spice". A search at the time of her arrest confirmed she no longer had illegal synthetic drugs in the store.

A proposed new city ordinance, banning the sale of all spice products apart from the state regulations, will be reviewed by the city council for the second time on April 4. Hillsborough and Pasco counties have similar "catch-all" ordinances.

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