Investigators seized more than $900,000 in marijuana products from building in Hightstown last Friday after a fire alarm went off at the location the previous day.
On Thursday, Oct. 19, the Hightstown Fire Department and Hightstown Police Department were dispatched to a retail building on the 100 block of Mercer Street because of a fire. Officials inspected the interior of the building to check for fire hazards. They detected a strong odor of marijuana inside. A search warrant was obtained and executed the following day.
In addition to 80 pounds of bulk marijuana and $2,449 in cash, officers seized a plethora of products containing THC, including: 808 energy drinks, 3,489 pill bottles containing high-grade designer marijuana, 488 bags of assorted edible THC products (hemp gummies, trail mix, honey bars, jolly rockets), 2,144 vials of THC oil, 384 jars of THC powder, 122 jars of THC ointment, 27 bottles of THC medical cream, 7 boxes of massage oil, 40 jars of relief balm, 3 boxes of dog biscuits, 26 boxes of PMS relief, 85 jars of marijuana wax, 31 jars of bath salts, and 21 boxes of THC pretzels.
During the course of the investigation, Neil Schloss was identified as the owner and operator of CannaSence, a supplier of high-grade marijuana products. The investigation indicated that orders for marijuana products were being placed by customers utilizing a CannaSence website and shipped from 109 Mercer Street via the U.S. Postal Service.
“The market for marijuana edibles has dramatically increased as medical cannabis legalization has spread across the country,” Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said. “The fact that they are a very tantalizing, tempting way for people to experiment poses even greater risks to keeping marijuana out of the hands of children and teens. Taken in large doses, marijuana edibles can lead to anxiety attacks, paranoia and hallucinations, and several reports have found that respiratory insufficiency can also be a major side effect in young children.”
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Economic Crimes Unit served court orders freezing more than two dozen bank accounts totaling approximately $777,900 belonging to Schloss and his associates. Schloss, 46, of Millstone Township is charged with maintaining and operating a marijuana manufacturing facility, possession of marijuana
over 50 grams, possession with the intent to distribute, possession with the intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school, and possession with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of public housing. The first-degree offense carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in state prison.
Schloss was released from the Mercer County Correction Center pending future court appearances.