SLMPD on lookout for deadly K2 - KMOV.com

SLMPD on lookout for deadly K2

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

St. Louis Police say they are watching out for the batch of K2, or synthetic marijuana, that has been killing people in Illinois.

Authorities say they are actively watching out for the specific variety of K2 because it is mostly legal. It is often marketed towards young people in colorful bags.

The owner of CBD Kratom in Tower Grove South sell Kratom, a plant from southeast Asia and that some use to help with pain, anxiety and that some say it is a safer alternative to opioids.

“Everything in the store is all natural,” said David Palatnik, the owner of CBD Kratom.

Kratom is often grouped along with K2 that’s sold in convenience stores or on the street, but Scott Abbott with HCI Alternatives, a medical marijuana dispensary in Collinsville, says the two are not similar.

"Every product that comes out is tested so they know absolutely what’s in it before they put it in their body, unlike synthetic or K2 or spice, that’s not tested at all,” said Abbott.

They issue a warning to their patients to stay away from K2 and other similar products called “fake weed” after a batch of K2 led to hospitalizations and deaths in Illinois.

In 2016, a batch of K2 led to hundreds of overdoses in St. Louis. Police tell News 4 they believe the recent deadly batch might have crossed the river into St. Louis but so far, nobody has died.

Palatnik says he wants people to know his products are not the same as K2.

“To be honest sometimes, it is sold at the same places. We don’t sell K2, we never did and will never sell something synthetic like that,” said Palatnik

While the products he sells are legal, the FDA warns against Kratom. The FDA lists it as a drug of concern.

Another problem for police is that when K2 is declared illegal, all manufacturers have to do is change some of the chemicals it is able to be sold.

Authorities have found the recent deadly batch contains ingredients commonly found in rat poison.

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