Anyone in Virginia caught possessing, using or making synthetic marijuana, also known as K2, is now officially breaking the law.
Gov. Bob McDonnell signed two bills banning the synthetic drugs on Wednesday. The ban takes effect immediately.
Synthetic marijuana is a mix of herbs, spices and chemicals that mimics the effects of marijuana. The drug is commonly marketed as incense or aroma therapy but is often used to get high.
Last October, NBC Washington's Jane Watrel spoke to Leesburg police, who said a teenager had recently overdosed on the drug.
"It can cause increased heart rate ... profuse sweating, vomiting, side effects," according to Leesburg Police Lt. Wes Thompson. "It's packaged as incense, but store owners know what customers are buying it for."
After a convenient store began selling synthetic marijuana just feet from the University of Maryland's College Park campus, NBC Washington's Craig Melvin spoke to the National Capital Poison Center about the drug. The center confirmed the problem is growing and they have seen an increase in calls from smokers complaining of K2's effects like excessive agitation, and some have even had seizures.
Virginia's ban also includes bath salts sold under names like "Ivory Wave" that are used as drugs. Possession of either K2 or the bath salts is a misdemeanor, but distributing them would be a felony. Manufacturing the drugs would be punishable by up to 30 years in prison.