1.15pm: Police have closed a major operation in Rockhampton and Yeppoon targeting the possession and supply of synthetic drugs through retail stores.
Search warrants were executed at the conclusion of Operation Enrich yesterday at one residence and a number of business premises including a tobacco shop, an alternate lifestyle store and an adult shop.
During the searches police located and seized over two kilograms of suspected illegal synthetic cannabinoids worth about $60,000 in value.
Investigations are continuing in relation to offences of trafficking, supply and possession of dangerous drugs.
The drugs seized have been lodged for forensic examination to determine the exact compounds contained within each product.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
5am: LOCAL retailer Ann Healy is counting the cost after her Enchantments businesses in Yeppoon and Rockhampton were raided by police in search of products they believe contained illicit synthetic cannabinoids.
Both stores were targeted by police yesterday and more than $10,000 worth of stock seized from the retailer.
As far as Ms Healy is concerned, the products she has been selling are legal and purchased from a reliable seller who provides her with a declaration of compliance that the stock does not contain any of the currently banned synthetic cannabinoids.
But as a result of legislative changes made last week - of which Ms Healy was not made aware of - she is now $10,000 out of pocket.
Not to mention embarrassed and angry.
"I've been selling it for eight months off and on and I always keep a certificate of compliance which comes with the product," she said.
"They treated us like they were searching for heroin."
"I am just livid that we have been treated this way. There is no proof that we have done anything illegal and I am very confident that these products do not contain anything illegal, so I personally think it is disgusting that the police can come into our stores, take a large amount of our stock and treated us like common criminals."
Prior to the legislative changes it was only illegal to sell synthetic drugs which were deemed to have similar chemical properties to drugs on a banned substance list.
But as new drugs are made every week, the government has changed the laws so it is illegal to sell any drug which is intended to have the same effect, or give the same sort of "high", as a banned substance.
Ms Healy said she was particularly disturbed that an 18-year-old girl, who was the
sole attendant at the Rockhampton Enchantments store, was allegedly detained and interrogated for three hours while the police raided the shop.
Ms Healy also believes her inability to sell the items will seriously jeopardise her business.
"I'm not proud of the fact, but these items do account for a lot of our retail business and to have $10,000 taken from that, and to be unable to sell any such product for the three months it will take them to test them is going to cause a lot of damage to my business," she said.
Ms Healy said the products were sold discretely and not promoted to anybody to use, but she felt it was important to stock them as Enchantments was an alternate lifestyle store.
Rockhampton police CIB officer-in-charge Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Moon confirmed a number of suspected synthetic drug products had been seized and sent for testing after police executed a series of search warrants in Rockhampton and Yeppoon yesterday.
Det Snr Sgt Moon said the seizures were part of an ongoing joint operation by the region's tactical crime squad and CIB. Similar raids have also been conducted in other parts of the state. No one has been charged yet in relation to yesterday's operation.
"This is a warning to people buying synthetic drugs," Det Snr Sgt Moon said.
"They need to be very certain that what they are purchasing is not a dangerous drug."