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August 19. 2014 10:05PM

Second Manchester store pledges to stop selling spice


Union Street Market on Union Street in Manchester has had its business license restored Tuesday after being closed by the city. Thomas Roy/Union Leader 

MANCHESTER — A city store owner has said he will no longer sell synthetic marijuana, the second store owner to make such a pledge following the revocation of the store’s business licenses last week.

The owner of Union Street Market, whose license was revoked last Wednesday, wrote to city officials the following day and said he will no longer sell synthetic marijuana.

“I will never do spice (k2) business again and sell to public, but I would like to run my business as a regular grocery store,” Union Street Market owner Jeevan Adhikari wrote in an Aug. 14 letter to city officials.

Adhikari is scheduled to appear before the aldermen’s Administration Committee this afternoon. His letter was in a package of material distributed to aldermen and made available online.

The number of spice-related poisonings and overdoses has numbered nearly 50 in the city since early last week, police have said.

On Monday, the owner of TN Gas and Convenience told a Hillsborough County Superior Court judge he would not sell the brand of spice — bubblegum-flavored Smacked! — that was implicated in user poisonings.

His father — Salah Flaih — went a step further and said the store would no longer sell any spice. He said Monday he started stocking the product about three months ago at the request of customers.

On Monday, a judge lifted the revocation for TN Gas and Convenience, after its lawyer — Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur — challenged the revocation in court.

Flaih opened the store about 5 p.m.

In a five-page ruling, Superior Court Judge Diane Nicolosi wrote that she lifted the revocation because proper procedures were not followed. She stressed she was not overlooking or minimizing the health risk posed by spice.

Proper procedure calls for city officials to give a business licensee proper notice and a hearing prior to any revocation because of a public health or safety concern. The hearing may be waived if the threat is immediate.

The third store hit with a license revocation — Han’s Food Mart — has not asked for a hearing in writing, although its case is scheduled to be taken up today.

Store owner Yun Young Han refused to sign the Aug. 13 revocation notice.

mhayward@unionleader.com


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