Nevada board moves to ban synthetic pot ingredients |

Nevada board moves to ban synthetic pot ingredients

Nevada Appeal file photoPartnership Carson City Executive Director Kathy Bartosz talks about Spice, a legal alternative to marijuana, earlier this year.

RENO (AP) – The Nevada Board of Pharmacy has taken the first steps toward regulating herbal and chemical substances used in fake marijuana.

The action is in response to an emergency effort launched last month by the Drug Enforcement Administration to classify the ingredients in the same drug category as heroin and cocaine because of increasing reports of serious effects such as seizures and hallucinations.

Federal authorities say makers of the fake pot blends like “Spice,” “Blaze,” and others label the products as incense to try to hide their intended purpose.

On Friday, pharmacy board coordinator Jeri Walter said state regulations will be drafted and could be discussed during a public hearing at the board’s meeting in January.

The vote means head shops, which specialize in articles of interest to drug users, will soon have to remove products containing certain synthetic cannabinoids from their shelves.

Diane Machen with the forensic science division of the Washoe County sheriff’s office said the county lab has been working with the pharmacy board to identify the substances being sold in Nevada and develop procedures to test for them.

Once identified, it takes time to develop the testing mechanisms necessary to enforce a ban of the drug, she said. Once labs are able to test products for certain chemicals, additional tests must be developed to detect the chemicals in blood, she added.