Joel Lester, Cooperating Witness in DEA's Synthetic-Pot Case, Dabbles in Kratom

Earlier this year, Joel Lester, a Canadian living in Boca Raton, saw a void that needed to be filled. Head shops and corner stores across the country had been raking in big bucks from bath salts and so-called herbal incenses, better-known as fake pot. Then the feds tossed down a blanket ban, launched a nationwide sting operation, and (at least temporarily) dammed the flow of these synthetic drugs. The profits dried up, and shop clerks began clamoring for the next moneymaking legal high.

Lester, who cleared a pretty penny in the synthetic-pot world, knew just the right substance. 

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Chris Sweeney