Petrogram - Winter 2013 - (Page 16)
to (Synthetic) Drugs
By Dan Kuhn, Guilday, Schwartz,
Simpson, West, Hatch & Lowe, P.A.
he first time I heard of synthetic drugs,
I could not believe what I was hearing.
I had to be receiving bad information -
there is no way that a person (especially a
child) could walk into convenience store and
buy products that produce the same effects
as marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine. Unfortunately, it was not bad information. Anyone with $10 in his or her pocket
could buy "bath salts" or "herbal incense"
with pictures of cartoon characters on the
packaging. These synthetic bath salts and
incense products produce the same effects
as marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, or worse. As the father of two young
children, this was one of the scariest things
I had heard in a long time.
The ﬁrst question that came into my mind
was how it is legal to sell these products?
Unfortunately there is not a simple answer
to this question. The Florida Legislature and
Attorney General have taken notice of the sale
of synthetic drugs and have added numerous synthetic compounds used to make the
drugs to Florida's controlled substances list.
This means that the consequences for selling
synthetic drugs that include ingredients on the
controlled substances list will be the same as if
the person was selling actual cocaine or other
drugs. However, in response to compounds
being added to the controlled substances list,
the drug manufacturers will change the ingredients to ones not included on the controlled
substances list - substances that produce
the same or similar effects. In fact, some of
the manufacturers will send a certiﬁcate with
their synthetic drug products certifying that the
product complies with Florida law and does not
contain controlled substances.
The above-described war between the
State of Florida and the synthetic drugs manufacturers has placed commercial landlords in
a difﬁcult position. As synthetic drugs are a
fairly new issue, it is unlikely that many of you
have addressed the sale of synthetic drugs
in your contracts with your convenience store
operators. As such, in the event your tenant
gets caught selling drugs at your facility, you
likely would have to rely on a compliancewith-laws provision in your lease to attempt to
16 | View past issues of Petrogram online at www.fpma.org.
terminate the tenant. However, what happens
if the tenant is not arrested or if the State tests
the product and determines it does not contain
a controlled substance? Did the tenant still
violate the law such that you could terminate
the lease and evict the tenant? In addition, it
is likely that your motor fuel brand suppliers
have amended your required standards of
operation to prohibit the sale of drugs at any
branded property. So while you are trying to
ﬁgure out a way to address the issue with
your tenant, your motor fuel brand supplier
is putting the pressure on you to take action.
The sale of synthetic drugs is a serious
issue that could damage your reputation
and even expose you to substantial liability.
Rather than attempting to govern the sale of
synthetic drugs under some provision in your
contract that was not designed to address this
issue, take the time to review your contract
documents and company policies to determine whether you are prepared to address
this issue when it arises. Otherwise, you
may get caught in a difﬁcult situation with
no clear solution.
Dan Kuhn is a shareholder at Guilday,
Schwartz, Simpson, West, Hatch & Lowe, P.A.
You can reach Dan on the Petroleum Hotline®
at 800-226-7091 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petrogram - Winter 2013
2013 FPMA Patron Members
Florida’s Petroleum Cleanup Program is Undergoing an Overhaul
As C-stores Branch Out, Channel Blurring Blossoms
Just Say No…to (Synthetic) Drugs
Staying Away from Negligent Security Lawsuits
FPMA’s 2013 Scholarship Golf Tournament and Conference of Committees
FPMA Featured Advertiser Marketplace
Calendar of Events
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Petrogram - Winter 2013