The owner of a head shop in Franklin County said he will work to repair his name, tarnished by drug charges later dismissed in court.
Scott Arnold-Micke, co-owner of the Peace of Mind store in Sullivan, says he was vindicated Tuesday when the delivery of controlled substance charges against him were dropped.
“I am happy to put this behind me,” he said. “Now I can start the process of rebuilding my reputation and standing in the community from the damage that has been done.”
In December 2018, Micke, 43, of Irondale, was charged with a Class A felony of distribution of a controlled substance in a protected location. The charge later was amended to a Class C felony of delivery of a controlled substance.
Authorities said the distribution charge stems from the sale of CBD oil, a “schedule 1 controlled substance,” at the store, as well as pipes commonly used to smoke methamphetamine and marijuana, items to extract THC from marijuana plants, items to smoke THC wax and containers to hide marijuana, according to the probable cause statement filed in the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.
Micke has contended that all the products sold in the store are legal under state law, and were legal when a search warrant for his store was issued July 24, 2018.
“I pray that in the future there is more thought put into actions that could damage someone’s life and business,” Micke told The Missourian.
Associate Circuit Judge Stan Williams dismissed the charges during a hearing Tuesday afternoon.
“The law is super clear,” Micke told The Missourian. “We are back to selling everything at the store.”
The initial charge of distribution in a “protected location” referred to the proximity of the shop to a school and park. The Sullivan Peace of Mind store is located within 1,000 feet of a Sullivan municipal park, and within 2,000 feet of Sullivan Elementary School.
Two other Peace of Mind stores, located in Festus and Park Hill, also were searched in July 2018, but resumed selling CBD products a short time later. A fourth store is located in Rolla.
According to the Sullivan Police Department, an investigation began when Sullivan police and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office received complaints concerning activities at the Sullivan location.
Narcotics detectives obtained samples of products being sold by the stores. These samples were tested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol laboratory. Testing showed that the items contained “cannabidiol” which is a controlled substance.
The Multi-County Narcotics and Violent Crimes Enforcement Unit (MCNVCEU), the Mineral Area Drug Task Force and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department were working in cooperation during the investigation.
Following the search of the store, Micke explained that all products sold in the store are legal under state law.
“We are a family-owned and -operated business,” Micke stated at the time. “The last thing we want to do is break any laws.”
Authorities seized numerous items, including CBD oil in various forms. A large variety of paraphernalia items used to process, store, hide and use controlled substances also were seized.
Return to Shelves
The CBD products were returned to the shelves of the Parks Hills store after St. Francois County 24th Circuit Associate Judge Joe Goff Jr. issued a judgment Dec. 7 overturning the validity of a search warrant executed at that location. Micke noted that the products at that time also were sold again at the Festus store.
“Jefferson County and St. Francios County agreed that the products that Peace of Mind were selling are legal and within the limits imposed by law,” Micke told The Missourian.
Micke had said that the store does not sell any derivatives of the marijuana plant, and items sold were all within the confines of the law. He added that the distributor of the products also is located in Missouri and operates under the same laws as the Peace of Mind stores.
Judge Goff wrote in his judgment that the basis for the search warrant was based on a belief that the premises contained controlled substances such as marijuana, synthetic marijuana, marijuana derivatives such as CBD oil or anything containing CBD oil, as well as drug paraphernalia for the same.
According to Micke, the product in question fell within legal limits set by state statute. The CBD products he sells are under three-tenths of a percent of THC and are legal. When the seizure occurred, Micke said he and a lot of customers were confused by the seizure.
Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Becker declined to comment.