FLAGSTAFF, AZ - Norchem Laboratories in Flagstaff is one of only five companies out of about 100 nationwide that has developed a test to detect Spice, the synthetic, marijuana-like substance that is marketed as incense.
At Norchem, about 8 percent of urine and blood samples test positive for THC, the compound in marijuana that gives the user a "high."
When Norchem screened samples from all offenders at the Coconino County Juvenile Detention Facility, nearly 50 percent came back positive for the presence of Spice. That's more than six times the rate of THC positives, a statistic that Norchem president Bill Gibbs calls "shocking."
Gibbs cites two reasons for the rate: Spice can be bought legally by children, and many juveniles don't think there's a test that can detect its use.