The X-Hale Hookah Lounge in Morgantown was one of three businesses targeted in civil action this week by federal, state and local authorities.
Patrick Rhinehart/MetroNews
The X-Hale Hookah Lounge in Morgantown was one of three businesses targeted in civil action this week by federal, state and local authorities.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Civil actions have been filed against two Morgantown businesses that are alleged to have made millions of dollars by selling large quantities of synthetic marijuana.

U.S Attorney Bill Ihlenfeld said at a Wednesday news conference that federal authorities along with the Mon Valley Drug Task Force served search warrants at Mid-Nite Adult and the X-Hale Hookah Lounge Tuesday afternoon. The complaints allege X-Hale made more than $1 million in sales of the illegal drug while Mid-Nite Adult pulled in $3.2 million during a 20-month period. Officials said the X-Hale owners, Nicholas and Steven Graziano, used the money to purchase cars, including a $95,000 BMW.

Mid-Nite Adult is owned and operated by Daniel and Sally Kocan, who also own Dahila’s on Walnut Street in Morgantown. Dahila’s was also included in the search on Tuesday but no action has been taken against that business.

No criminal charges have been filed.

Ihlenfeld said the civil actions also seek to seize certain assets from the entities, including the business licenses of each as well as all inventory containing a controlled substance or a controlled substance analogue.

This substance is unpredictably dangerous,” Ihlenfeld said during an appearance on MetroNews Talkline. “There are people dying across the country from using synthetic marijuana.”

Ihlenfeld said it’s is different from traditional marijuana.

I don’t encourage anyone to smoke either, but synthetic marijuana is much, much different and creates a lot of significant health risks for anyone that consumes it.”

The Morgantown Police Department and Mon Valley Drug Task Force have been working on the case for about 18 months. The stores are close to the police department in downtown Morgantown.

The business community in Morgantown made their voices heard and law enforcement listened. The businesses are fed up with what’s been going on,” Ihlenfeld said.

The main buyers of synthetic marijuana are those in their late teens and early 20s.

We want parents to know that if their children are involved in this stuff they ought to know it because it could be deadly,” Ihlenfeld said. “If I were the parent of a student at West Virginia University I would be very happy about the action we took.”

Ihlenfeld said Congress has taken steps in the last few years to expand the list of scheduled substances and there’s a new law in West Virginia that will go in effect in about a month dealing with synthetic marijuana.

 

 

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Comments

  • philip

    Well, obviously its not meant to be consumed but humans do it anyway, its not the store owners fault what teenagers do with this substance, if bleach was consumed by a teenager to get high would they shut down stores for selling it? As for x-hale though, they need shut down, they were selling it for that purpose and that purpose only. (To get high) any teenager could walk in and back out with there top product. (Skunks)

  • Greg

    My child purchased fake weed at x hale and had a near death experience. They are selling it to children and they don't care if they die.

  • amanda whaller

    All the whole time the lousy sob's hiding behind the counter are telling everyone that theirs is safead legal hope they lockem up and throw away the key "concerned parent"

    • person man

      Legal =! Safe. We seem to have no problem as a society selling cigarettes and alcohol, yet you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would believe either is safe. Should we be locking up bartenders too?

  • jay john

    They forgot about nick canteens its the worst outta all of em

  • Patchy

    Erm, all of the entities mentioned work in LAW ENFORCEMENT, yet they aren't filing criminal charges?

    Sounds like a poorly-disguised end run around probable cause, evidence rules, etc. and that pesky reasonable doubt standard in a jury trial. In civil cases, as OJ can tell you, only a preponderance of the evidence is required for the plaintiff to win.

    A failure to make arrests and bring criminal cases is laziness at best and dereliction of duty at worst. It's an obvious cash grab but our 'public servants' do it in a very artless way.

    I have no brief for the business owners or the product but how many times do we have to watch the state extort cash from other guy before it dawns on us that we may be next based strictly on greed and politics?

    Dear Mr. Ihlenfeld: kindly do your job without the pantomime and stop telling your fellow citizens what to think.

  • GWB

    In the meanwhile, they spend 18 months charging individuals for possessing a substance they believe they lawfully bought at the stores under investigation. Something stinks about that and it's not the smell of synthetic weed!