Stores raided for cbd oil

CBD store owner faces felony charges after raid

The owner of a CBD store is facing criminal charges that could mean spending decades in prison. He says he’s innocent, but others in his industry aren’t too sympathetic.

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. – The owner of a CBD shop is facing criminal charges that could mean spending decades in prison. He says he’s innocent, but one store owner in his industry isn’t too sympathetic.

Chris Syrrakos is still behind the counter at Superstar Buds despite law enforcement raiding his business back in March.

“They destroyed my whole life, my family,” said Syrrakos. “I’m facing 50 years for selling CBD.”

Syrrakos closed his Superstar Buds store in Menomonee Falls following the raid and moved his business to West Allis, but he can’t escape the store’s history.

Syrrakos is facing nine felonies and two misdemeanors, including Possession with Intent to Deliver THC and Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place.

“We never implied to anyone that we were selling marijuana which is what they’re accusing me of,” said Syrrakos. “We were selling hemp.”

A criminal complaint says an undercover officer made a series of purchases from Superstar Buds that revealed products with THC levels well-over the legal limit for hemp, which is 0.3% Delta 9 THC. Some vape cartridges that law enforcement brought to a lab for testing allegedly contained up to 40% Delta 9 THC.

Syrakkos told Contact 6 he doesn’t believe the test results are accurate. He also says it’s up to his suppliers to get the THC levels right.

“We’re 100 percent reliant upon the certificates of analysis given to us by our suppliers,” said Syrrakos.

It’s an argument that doesn’t go over well with Rachel Cartwright, the owner of CBD Therapeutics of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. Cartwright, who says punishment for a pot conviction more than a decade ago motivated her to follow the rules, acknowledges there’s a lot of gray in the state’s regulation of hemp products. Still, she says there are best practices CBD retailers should follow.

“The first thing that you do when you get something into your facility is test it,” said Cartwright. “Everything that you’re handling should have literally less than 1% THC.”

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The criminal complaint says Syrrakos did test his product at least once. It says he texted a supplier, “I took the last batch to get tested in town and these clowns have no idea how to test,” along with an image of a lab certificate showing “Delta 9 THC concentration of 13.49%”. The complaint says Syrrakos then “continued to order multiple liters of the same distillate.”

Syrrakos told Contact 6 he disputes several claims in the criminal complaint. He says he has all new inventory since the raid because he wasn’t sent a detailed list of the products tested by law enforcement.

“We weren’t sure on anything so we just got all new brands,” said Syrrakos. “Most [items are] from California and Colorado and Oregon.”

Syrrakos has one more argument. He doesn’t believe the police nor the sheriff’s department had the authority to crack down on his business. The way Syrrakos interprets the law, he says only the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection (DATCP) can regulate his industry.

“I know more about this, I believe, than the DA does and the police department,” said Syrrakos.

A DATCP official told Contact 6 that law enforcement can investigate illegal drug operations, but acknowledges there is not clear regulation of many CBD products.

“There’s a lot of contradicting laws that can make anyone in the industry into a criminal for one thing or another,” said Syrrakos.

On December 13th, Syrrakos appeared in Waukesha County Court and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. It appears a jury will decide whether he’s guilty of the charges against him.

The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department says it can’t comment on ongoing investigations. Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper told Contact 6 she “will not comment on this pending case.”

DATCP was unable to provide answers to questions about who has enforcement authority over CBD shops by this report’s deadline.

Syrrakos is represented by Bucher Law Group which also declined to comment on this report.

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No charges in raid of CBD oil containing THC

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Prosecutors in Pennington County have declined to issue charges resulting from a police raid of a health food store and the seizure of hemp-derived CBD oil which was found to contain THC, the compound in marijuana that produces a high sensation.

Police and sheriff’s deputies raided Staple and Spice Market in Rapid City May 23 and seized 16 individual or bundled packages of CBD oil products worth about $3,000. The raid was the result of an earlier purchase by a Rapid City police officer who had a CBD product tested and found it was positive for THC, according to the Rapid City Journal.

Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo said he chose not to charge the owner whose products came from Plus CBD Oil, a California manufacturer.

“In order to prosecute somebody for the distribution of THC, which is a schedule 1 (drug), we would have to prove that they did so knowingly. And when they’re relying on manufacturer representations, which turn out to be wrong, it would be kind of hard to prove that they did so knowingly,” Vargo said Monday.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” store owner Carol Pugh said.

Vargo recently sent a letter to stores that sell or are interested in selling CBD products urging caution in sourcing CBD manufacturers.

“Significantly, some of the tests show that the products, which claim to have no THC, not only have THC acid but also have the psychoactive form of THC,” Vargo wrote, adding that THC is illegal in South Dakota in any quantity or concentration.

“Given the lack of quality control of products that are not FDA approved, I would again urge caution in your sourcing of products claiming to be CBD. Third party testing of any new brands would be distinctly advisable,” Vargo told the businesses.

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CBD most often comes from a cannabis plant known as hemp, which is defined by the U.S. government as having less than 0.3% THC, the compound that causes marijuana’s mind-altering effect. CBD doesn’t produce that high, but fans of the products claim benefits including relief for pain and anxiety.

Plus CBD Oil said on its website that its products contain less than 0.3%, but that anyone who takes a drug test should not use their products since they’re not completely THC free.

CBD oil with synthetic cannabinoids seized from 3 Houston smoke shops, police say

HOUSTON – Authorities said they raided three Houston smoke shops last week, seizing cannabidiol oil that contained synthetic cannabinoids.

CBD oil is an extract of the marijuana plant, but it lacks the intoxicating effects of the drug. It is usually extracted from the industrial hemp plant.

Houston police said the raids were the culmination of a monthslong investigation during which officers purchased CBD oil at several smoke shops, and that oil was tested in a lab. Police said the oil purchased at three shops was found to contain synthetic cannabinoids – the same chemical found in the illegal drug called Kush.

“If you have half a brain, you should not be using this stuff,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

Investigators said that many times, these types of drugs are made in the back of shops or in garages and are not tested before they are sold to the public.

Police said officers raided the following shops:

Investigators said all three shops have been sued as being a nuisance and have been ordered to stop selling illegal substances.

Copyright 2018 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

About the Author:
Aaron Barker

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.