ROCKHAMPTON stores have been selling synthetic marijuana under the counter, police claim.

In raids on Monday and Tuesday police seized about $500,000 worth of synthetic marijuana and the precursor chemicals and herbs to make the drugs in Rockhampton, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Police said the drug was being sold as Timeless Tea under the counter of stores in Rockhampton and customers needed to use a code word to buy it.

Police Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said synthetic marijuana was being made in cement mixers in Gold Coast and Brisbane sheds.
Police Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said synthetic marijuana was being made in cement mixers in Gold Coast and Brisbane sheds. Geoff Egan

On Monday and Tuesday, police raided sheds in Brisbane and the Gold Coast where the product was being made as well as shops in Rockhampton and south-east Queensland.

Police allege the synthetic marijuana powder was dissolved in chemicals such as acetone, sprayed onto leafy material, mixed in a concrete mixer and dried in the back of a black van.

They claim drugs were then sent to stores where they were packaged into tins and sold.

Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said although the drug was being marketed as a "legal high" it was illegal and could prove very dangerous.

"Ten deaths have been attributed to synthetic cannabinoids in the last eight years," he said.

"This is not clinically approved or tested. There is no quality assurance involved."

Det Supt Wacker described the conditions the drug was made in as "squalid" and said its manufacture was an "emerging trend".

A 39-year-old man will face Cleveland Magistrates Court on April 5 charged with trafficking and supplying dangerous drugs. A 52-year-old will face Beenleigh Magistrates Court on March 29 charged with possessing a dangerous drug and possessing regulated poisons.

Police would not confirm whether this alleged synthetic marijuana syndicate was related to any previous alleged syndicates but said "investigations were ongoing". - APN NEWSDESK


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