If passed, the ordinance will prohibit people in Tupelo from buying, selling, distributing, offering, using or having the product. Its most common name is Spice, but it's sold under more than a dozen different labels, including Genie and K2.
Violators could face up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail, according to the ordinance.
Although sold as herbal incense, the products are sprayed with a chemical that mimics the effects of marijuana when ingested. Users smoke it and get high.
Tupelo Police Chief Tony Carleton had proposed the ban earlier this week after discovering its availability in the city. The Daily Journal had found it in at least one Tupelo convenience store, as well as in two tobacco shops just outside the city.
The ban would not affect the ability of stores outside Tupelo to sell the substance.
Spice and its equivalents are not yet regulated in the United States and are therefore still legal. But Tupelo leaders are following the lead of other municipalities by passing its own ban of the product.
Unlike most ordinances that require 30 days to take effect, though, the one banning Spice would become active immediately after passage.
It's currently on the council's study agenda, which means the council must first move it to the action agenda before voting on it. It typically takes two meetings before the vote occurs, making an Aug. 3 passage likely.
In special cases, however, the council can decide to take immediate action on a study agenda item.
Other Mississippi cities that have passed similar bans are Gautier, Horn Lake, Moss Point and Gautier. Natchez also is considering one.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.