I've used that wood, it's safe. It will grow light gray goop/film for awhile, but that is also safe for the fish. You can keep cleaning it off or just leave it for a month or more and then clean it off.
You have Pet Supplies Plus there in Raleigh. They have Malaysian driftwood for $10 ea. All sizes. It sinks like a rock and looks awesome. Look in the lizard section too because they split it up between fish and there. Much better selection imo than Petsmart/Petco. The Malaysian wood will leech tannins for ~3-4 months but meh...water changes take care of that minor stuff. If it really bugs you then use charcoal.