.LAYTON -- Will Cloud 9 Smoke Shop remain closed after the city shut the store down for selling an illegal spice-like compound?
City officials hope to have a written decision as soon as next week regarding their opinion on the closing of Cloud 9. The city closed the shop, located at 1827 W. Antelope Drive #1, on Dec. 1, after police found the store selling an illegal compound similar to spice.
During a hearing on Thursday, the store's owner, Sham Sunder, and his lawyer, Michael Boyle, asked that the store be allowed to reopen.
"They don't contest the fact that they sold the merchandise that they were accused of selling," said city attorney Gary Crane. "Their contention is whether there was enough notice that this was illegal."
Numerous calls to the phone number listed for Sunder were unanswered on Friday, and a message left for Boyle at his office was not returned.
City Manager Alex Jensen will decide if the store will reopen without probation, reopen on probation or remain closed for good.
Crane said the shop should not be allowed to reopen.
"Our position was there was adequate and repeated notice," Crane said.
In October 2010, Layton amended its city code to prohibit the possession, use, sale and marketing of any intoxicating or impairing chemical compound. In order to make sure the smoke shops in the city understood the code, police visited store owners and explained that spice or any similar compound is illegal and they were not to sell it.
On Nov. 2, 2011, Layton police conducted a sting operation at Cloud 9, during which they found an illegal spice-like compound for sale. Sgt. Pete Davis said they got a search warrant two days later and discovered more of the illegal drug.
Davis said Cloud 9 called the compound "potpourri."
Crane said Sunder and Boyle contend that the product they were selling was not an illegal drug, so the city should not have shut down the store.
"The argument that was made is just simply that the recipe (of the product) changes all the time and the changes may be outside of what constitutes the drug until it's tested," Crane said. "So until tested it isn't analog spice."
However, police determined the product to be illegal and that is why the city closed the shop.
Crane said there is no real timetable as to when the written decision needs to be completed; however, the city wants to have the decision in the next two weeks.