What do you do when one of your hottest-selling products becomes contraband?

It’s a question facing smoke shop owners across the Valley area since the Drug Enforcement Administration decided to place a temporary ban on a dietary supplement called kratom. On Aug. 31, the agency released a notice of intent to classify kratom as a Schedule I substance – the same as heroin and marijuana – beginning Sept. 30, calling it an “imminent danger to public health.”

The decision has left store owners such as Mike Korlin, who runs Ark Smoke Shop in Granada Hills, just weeks to clear out inventory before he’s stuck with legally unsellable product.

“I have until the 30th to sell the remainder. I’ve blasted it everywhere I can think of social media-wise,” Korlin said. “That’s all we can do ... get rid of the rest and stay in the clear.”

Read the full story in the Sept. 19 issue of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.