On Sunday, October 2, 2011, Governor Brown signed SB 420, which outlaws sales and possession of five synthetic cannabinoids, JWH-018, JWH-073, CP-47,497, JWH-200, and cannabicyclohexanol, compounds similar to the active ingredients in marijuana. Recently, people have been buying products called K2, Spice, and other names at convenience stores and other locations which contained botanical mixtures sprayed with these chemicals.
The mixtures were sold as herbal incense but often smoked by consumers. The products do not react with common drug screens and few labs are set up to test for them. The new law makes possession or sale a misdemeanor, rather than an infraction like possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. The DEA this year also acted to make the same five substances Federal Schedule 1 controlled substances.