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    CITGO Takes Stand Against Synthetic Marijuana

    CITGO-branded marketers run the risk of being debranded if they sell synthetic marijuana or bath salts.

    HOUSTON -- Synthetic marijuana has been getting a lot of attention by lawmakers and now at least one industry leader is taking action. In a letter to all CITGO-branded marketers, CITGO Petroleum Corp. stated sales of substances such as synthetic marijuana and bath salts are now banned from its locations.

    The move is one way to further CITGO's commitment to the local communities it serves and helps keep dangerous products out of the hands of consumers. At least 40 states have banned the sale of substances like synthetic marijuana and bath salts -- which are sold under a variety of names including Spice and K2 -- and similar legislation is pending in other states, according to Alan Flagg, general manger light oils marketing at CITGO.

    "Clearly the sale of these substances creates a negative image that is disparaging to the CITGO brand and the many individual identities that your retail locations have in their communities," Flagg wrote in the letter. "Therefore, the sale of these substances in a CITGO-branded location is prohibited under our marketer Franchise Agreement (MFA). Should sales of these substances at CITGO-branded locations continue after the date of this letter, CITGO may take such action as it deems appropriate to protect its brand image, including debranding the location."

    The letter was dated May 31 and marketers were directed to talk to their regional managers if they had any questions.

    In addition, through the Michigan Petroleum Association (MPA) CITGO supported MI Senate Bill 1082, a measure to combat the sale and use of synthetic marijuana in Michigan. The Michigan State Senate passed the bill on May 30. CITGO is also supporting the federal ban that is being championed by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and other lawmakers.

    As CSNews Online previously reported, federal legislation banning synthetic marijuana and bath salts could land on President Obama's desk by early July after the U.S. Senate passed its version of the measure on May 24. It was passed as part of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.

     

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