SAVANNAH, Ga. — Authorities have raided two Savannah businesses that they said were selling synthetic cannabinoids to minors.
The Tybee Island Police Department contacted the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team after a juvenile's parents reported to them that their child had overdosed on synthetic cannabinoids last July.
A follow-up investigation by the Counter Narcotics Team and the Drug Enforcement Administration's Tactical Diversions Squad indicated a large number of local high school students were making purchases of the same or similar synthetic cannabinoids from two local Savannah businesses.
The substances were being advertised like cigarettes, and under Georgia law, people purchasing them would have to be 18 years of age or older to purchase them.
Synthetic cannabinoids are generally presented by distributors as "safer" alternatives to marijuana, however, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, synthetic cannabinoid products are unsafe. It is difficult to determine what the products contain or what an individual's reaction to the products would be.
The federal government has banned many specific synthetic cannabinoids. Many state and local governments have passed their own laws targeting other synthetic cannabinoids.
The investigation indicated that younger people were purchasing the items.
Accordingly, search warrants were executed on the two Savannah businesses, according to the Counter Narcotics Team.