Oxford police Thursday warned local convenience stores to remove any substances containing a synthetic drug within the next 24 hours.

According to an official notice signed by Oxford police Chief Bill Partridge, any products containing Kratom, need to be removed or “failure to do so will result in seizure of these items and/or arrest and prosecution of said managers and/or owners.”  

Kratom, a tree, is banned in most countries, including Thailand where the tree is native, Oxford investigator Jason Webb said by phone Thursday.

“It has an opiate effect on the body,” Webb said. “I have received several calls, messages, and complaints from parents and concerned citizens about the effects this is having on their children.”

Webb said he handed out copies of the notice to every convenience store in the city Thursday and all but two had items that contained Kratom.

“We have great business owners in this city,” he said. “I have no doubt they will comply with this order. You won’t see us having to go back and make cases against these places.”

Kratom is ingested many ways, Webb said. According to an alert published by the FDA last month, Kratom causes a wide range of reactions including: respiratory issues, hallucinations and vomiting.  

“The big thing is Viva Zen,” Webb said, referring to an energy shot sized drink. “We are just trying to make Oxford safer.”

​Staff writer Kirsten Fiscus: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @kfiscus_star.

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