The Ohio Attorney General says the money will be used to educate about the dangers of illegal drug use.
According to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the owners of four Highland County businesses found selling synthetic drugs must now pay fines totaling $10,000 that will be used for the prevention and investigation of synthetic drug use.
A judge in Highland County found the owners of East Main Mini Mart and Rocky Road Mini Mart in Hillsboro and North End Mini Mart and West End Sunoco in Greenfield in violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act.
Investigators say the businesses were selling synthetic substances as incense, but unlike typical incense, which is defined as material used to produce a fragrant odor when burned, the products were coated with synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of marijuana.
"The defendants knew exactly what they were selling, even though they tried to pass the synthetic drugs off as legal products," said Attorney General DeWine.
The judge ordered that the defendants must pay the Ohio Attorney General's Office $2,500 in each case. The funds will be used for education about the use and danger of synthetic drugs and the investigation of and enforcement for violations in relation to synthetic drug production, distribution, and possession.
"We are happy that we can put the settlement funds to good use in an effort to stop the sale and abuse of these hazardous drugs," said Attorney General DeWine.
The defendants are also now prohibited from selling incense, potpourri, and other novelty products.