Sheriff Danny Hickman reports that his office has received numerous reports from concerned citizens in Boone County about the sale of “Potpourri” at a local business in the county. Citizens reported their children were getting very sick and three are known to have been admitted to the hospital and placed in the critical care unit for the ingestion of this product.
These disturbing complaints prompted the Sheriff’s Office to conduct an investigation into what the substance actually was. Sheriff Hickman and the 14th Judicial District Drug Task Force Coordinator Greg Harris visited with the owner of the business and received samples of the vegetable like substance which is similar to the known “K2 and spice” products. This substance was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for analysis and returned showing to have a synthetic type chemical in the vegetable matter which was not yet illegal.
Continued sales of this product and further complaints from citizens prompted Sheriff Hickman and Coordinator Harris into conducting an investigation into what was in the chemical and whether the substance should be made illegal. It was determined from the samples obtained from the business that the chemical structure of the substance resembled a synthetic cannabinoid (in essence synthetic marijuana) known as XLR11.
Sheriff Hickman along with Coordinator Harris and other Investigators spoke with the Arkansas Sheriff’s Association and the Arkansas Association of Counties and all representatives met with the Arkansas Department of Health concerning this chemical. After this meeting the Director of the Arkansas Department of Health signed an emergency order banning the sales and possession of this substance known as XLR11 or “potpourri” in the State of Arkansas.
Narcotics Investigators with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office and the 14th Judicial District Drug Task Force went to the business in Boone County on Friday, July 20th, 2012, and removed all inventory from the store containing this harmful chemical. Investigators seized over $3,000.00 worth of inventory containing the substance from the store. Since the chemical substance had just been made illegal, the store owner was told not to make any future sales of the product.
Sheriff Hickman strongly urges anyone in Boone County that knows about this chemical substance being sold in Boone County to call or email the Sheriff’s Office and report the sales and/or possession of this product. All calls and emails can be made anonymously. This product poses a very real health risk to anyone taking it. Parents need to make their children aware that this product is not a “harmless” vegetable product. It can and has made people very ill and in some cases could be life threatening. Sheriff Hickman says, as always, the health and safety of Boone County citizens is his priority.