BUTLER, Ind. (WANE) — A 6-hour high.
That’s what Butler Mayor Mike Hartman and police chief Mark Heffelfinger find alarming about the mushroom gummies on sale at the local Sunoco gas station, just a short walk from the police station on Main Street.
The Sunoco gas station and the Phillips 66 gas station in Butler are two of four gas stations the mayor and police chief are focusing on as they fight to restrict sales of vaping and mushroom products.
It would be far safer to sell these legal products in 21-and-over establishments. Butler, a town of 2,700 people in DeKalb County, has two bars and a liquor store, both of which could handle these products.
Meanwhile, the managers of the Sunoco and the Phillips 66 deny that any products are sold to minors. Phillips 66 manager Sam Mohsen said his company banned the sale of anything other than vapes, but at the Sunoco, the gummies are on display advertising 6000 milligrams per package of 12 gummies. Heffelfinger provided WANE 15 with photos taken from a local officer’s body camera.
A Sunoco clerk did not want in-store photos taken.
Tammy Clifton, Sunoco manager, said the store avidly cards people. At the Sunoco, adults can purchase mushroom gummies that advertise a 6-hour high, Heffelfinger says. The store clerk said a 12-pack of mushroom gummies at 6000 milligrams per package cost $22.99; the vapes cost $8.99.
“We do know that parents come in and buy them and of course, we can’t control what the parents do with them,” Clifton said Wednesday, two days after the Butler Common Council held a meeting and deliberated over an ordinance that would prohibit the sale of ”electronic cigarettes, E-liquids, electronic delivery devices, vapor products and their components and cannabis and related products.”
“Kids swipe them from their parents at home,” Clifton said. “And it’s raised quite a problem because vapes are a lucrative sale for these businesses.” Everything sold at Sunoco is legal. “Excise has been in here multiple times.”
Mohsen, a manager at the Phillips 66 gas station, said the company banned the sale of anything other than vapes. “Hurting the business is kind of disappointing,” because his station has also had the state excise board come into the store without any problems.
“I sell here quite a few vapes,” he said. “Phillips 66 banned THC, AHC products, anything that makes you go high or anything,” Mohsen said. “We’ve been banned for almost a year now. We don’t sell anything but pure nicotine. We can’t sell no CBD oil, no THC.”
The ordinance obtained by WANE 15 also notes that possession of psilocybin and psilocyn, two products of certain mushrooms, is prohibited by the state. However, it appears that the gummy mushrooms sold at Sunoco are amanita mushrooms, according to literature provided by Heffelfinger. Still, they are concerned that the product boasts a 6-hour high, although WANE 15 only viewed the packages that were stored behind security glass.
While the mayor and police chief hope the state legislature will tighten up the sale of these products, they will do their best to restrict them in Butler after becoming alarmed at the quantity of these products confiscated at the schools.
“I don’t know how the kids are getting all these,” Heffelfinger said, standing next to a pile of vaping products collected at the local schools, “but we need to put a stop to it.”
On one particular day, 10 vape packages were taken out of the elementary school in one day, Heffelfinger said.
The ordinance has had one reading, but with the resignation of the council attorney, it’s unclear when a second reading will take place, Hartman said. According to the ordinance, enforcement will be carried out by the Butler Police Department.
“If any of the items listed are found to be publicly displayed for sale, they may be confiscated and upon conviction be destroyed by law enforcement officials,” it reads.