A male suspect held up a Hamilton adult novelty store on Saturday night, emptying it of its stock of synthetic marijuana, police say.

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On Saturday, a man held up the Love Shop, an adult novelty store in east Hamilton, robbing the business of its supply of synthetic marijuana. (Google)

According to police, the man walked into the Love Shop at 260 Main St. E. on Saturday at around 10:15 p.m. He approached the counter and demanded the clerk hand over the store's supply of ISMZ.

The suspect said he had a weapon, but never brought one out, police say.

The clerk gave him the product and the suspect fled on foot.

Police spokesperson Debbie McGreal-Dinning told CBC Hamilton on Monday afternoon that ISMZ is an illegal substance, but said she could not comment on whether the police were pursuing charges against the Love Shop.

She said the Hamilton Police Service's Break and Enter, Auto Theft and Robbery (BEAR) Unit is continuing to investigate.

Synthetic marijuana

Synthetic marijuana typically involves dried plant material sprayed with one of several chemical compounds, most of which were created by a Clemson University scientist for research purposes in the 1990s. The compounds were never tested on humans.

Packaged to look like pot, synthetic marijuana is sold under several brand names such as "K-2" and "Spice." It is usually smoked, and experts say the high is more comparable to cocaine or LSD than naturally grown marijuana.

According to U.S. medical reports, some users of synthetic marijuana have suffered side effects including panic attacks, heart palpitations, hallucinations, delusions and vomiting.

"Many of the users describe extreme paranoia," said Dr. Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Center. "The recurring theme is monsters, demons and aliens. A lot of them had suicidal thoughts."