HOUSTON (KTRK) --Adult novelty retail chain Katz Boutique and Smoke Shop has paid $1.175 million to settle lawsuits filed against them for selling synthetic marijuana, commonly known as Kush.
Last Wednesday, District Court Judge Randy Wilson entered a final judgment against nine Houston area Katz Boutique & Smoke Shop stores and their owners, prohibiting them from selling or offering for sale synthetic marijuana and other synthetic drugs. If any of the stores violate the court's judgment, the store will be closed for a year, according to the Harris County Attorney. Katz's owners also paid $1.175 million in civil fines and penalties to the State of Texas and Harris County to resolve the case.
"Ultimately, the owner of the business said, "Let's go do the right thing. Pay the penalty, come up with a number. Pay the penalty and let other people know this is bad.' The product is bad," said Marc Hill, attorney for Katz Boutique who agrees the Houston area has a Kush problem.
A series of undercover investigations by Harris County Sheriff's Office narcotics officers led to the lawsuits and the seizure of more than 3,000 packets of synthetic marijuana, according to authorities.
Authorities say the investigation revealed the Katz stores had sold many thousands of packets of Kush.
The county attorney says the penalty is the largest ever paid in Texas from a case involving the sale of synthetic marijuana.