WRAL Investigates

DEA raids Raleigh lab that tests for synthetic marijuana

Posted March 30, 2012 2:56 p.m. EDT
Updated April 4, 2012 11:40 a.m. EDT

— Agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently raided a north Raleigh laboratory that tests products for traces of synthetic marijuana and other illegal ingredients, according to federal court records.

WRAL News has investigated for two years products sold as incense or potpourri that contain marijuana-like ingredients, allowing people to smoke them to get high.

North Carolina lawmakers banned the sale of synthetic marijuana last year, but a WRAL News investigation found in November that the products had returned to area store shelves with claims that the illegal ingredients were gone.

In the past, several brands used Research Triangle Park Labs, off Brier Creek Parkway, to test their products. The lab issued reports saying none of the illegal ingredients was found.

Last week, DEA agents removed hundreds of files from the lab after the facility agreed to test a sample of synthetic pot that contained a controlled substance, according to the application for a search warrant.

Under federal law, DEA registrants are not supposed to accept controlled substances from non-DEA registrants. The DEA wants to know if the lab routinely tested samples for unregistered parties and whether accurate records were kept, according to the search warrant application.

No charges have been filed in the case.

DEA officials and the lab's owner, Alston Sykes, couldn't be reached for comment.