LAYTON -- While a rose by any other name still smells as sweet, spice by any other name is still illegal.
City officials shut down one of the five smoke shops in Layton on Thursday, just two weeks after adopting an ordinance allowing staff to more closely monitor and regulate the shops.
City Attorney Gary Crane said that Cloud 9 Smoke Shop at 1827 W. Antelope Drive #1 was told to close on Thursday because the shop was selling a banned substance.
"We had warned them not to sell spice," Crane said. "We closed them and told them not to reopen and they complied."
There were no phone listings for Cloud 9 in Layton and no one was at the store on Friday morning. Calls to Cloud 9 Smoke Shop in Ogden on Friday afternoon were also unanswered.
Deputy City Attorney Steve Garside said there was a sign in the store that said not to ask for spice because they did not have any. However, Garside said that Layton police found the store was selling a compound similar to spice, which is against the law.
"It's one of those things where they keep changing the names, but it doesn't make any difference," Garside said.
On Nov. 2, Layton police conducted a sting operation at Cloud 9 where they sold an illegal spice-like compound. Sgt. Pete Davis said they got a search warrant two days later and discovered more of the illegal drug.
"They were calling it potpourri," Davis said.
In October 2010, Layton amended its city code to prohibit the possession, use, sale and marketing of any intoxicating or impairing chemical compound. After that, Davis staff visited the smoke shops and explained that spice or any similar compound is illegal and they were not to sell it.
Some shops continue to sell the illegal drug.
"It's frustrating to a point, but it's not surprising," Davis said. "It's a big money-maker for them. But it's illegal. We have to enforce that and will continue to do so."
Spice, a drug that gives the user a marijuana-like high, is banned in Utah.
"It is very important to us as elected officials that we watch out for those who we represent," said Mayor Steve Curtis. "This shop had been warned and there are laws on the books that indicate what will happen if they don't comply to that ordinance. By continually selling spice, they are jeopardizing the health and welfare, along with the safety, of the residents in the community. This is something we will not tolerate."
Cloud 9 representatives are scheduled to appear for a hearing at 2nd District Court in Layton on Thursday.
"They can respond to the information that we've gathered," Garside said.
Garside said the city did a compliance check with Cloud 9 during the spring and there was an alleged violation that took place during one of the checks.
"It's an alleged violation because they are appealing it," Garside said.
Garside said their research shows that the primary purchasers of spice are minors.
Cloud 9 is located next to Kid to Kid, a store that buys and sells gently-used children's clothing, toys and baby furnishings. There were two signs on Cloud 9's door saying customers "should be 19 years old to enter the smoke shop."