Duluth shop says it has OK to sell synthetic marijuana
The Last Place on Earth is back to selling synthetic marijuana in Duluth, just a few days after a city ordinance went into effect banning it. The store started selling the products, which are sold as incense, on Wednesday evening after an attorne...
The Last Place on Earth is back to selling synthetic marijuana in Duluth, just a few days after a city ordinance went into effect banning it.
The store started selling the products, which are sold as incense, on Wednesday evening after an attorney for the city of Duluth reportedly agreed not to enforce the city's new ordinance -- at least temporarily.
"The city has sent us a proposed stipulation that the city would agree not to enforce the ordinance and that the agreement ends upon final judgment of the lawsuit," said Randall Tigue, lead attorney for Jim Carlson, owner of Last Place on Earth.
City attorneys did not return calls seeking confirmation after office hours Wednesday.
Carlson's attorneys filed a 48-page lawsuit Monday seeking to overturn the ordinance that the Duluth City Council passed on Aug. 30 banning the sale or use of "synthetic cannabinoids" -- products known by names such as K2, Spice and Mojo.
Although marketed as incense, the products typically are smoked and are said to provide marijuana-like effects.
In the lawsuit, Carlson had additionally asked for a temporary restraining order to prevent its enforcement while the case is ongoing.
Because of the city's offer, Carlson will rescind that request, Tigue said.
"That was good for us," Carlson said of the temporary lift on the ban without a court hearing. "Usually it takes about six months to go to court. This will also save us money and we can sell it now."
Carlson said he wasted no time putting synthetic pot products back on the shelves.
"We put it back about a minute after hearing the news," he said.
People had been calling the store all day wondering if it was for sale again, Carlson said. Sales Wednesday night were brisk, he added.
Carlson claims in the lawsuit that he will lose 50 percent of his business if the ban is enacted. It also calls the ordinance unconstitutionally vague because the ingredients it cites are contained in many other products including hemp clothing, cold medicine and nasal sprays.
A discrimination lawsuit could be pending based on the fact that the ordinance wouldn't be enforced on businesses selling those items, according to Carlson.
"The ordinance is so vague," he said. "So the Declaration of Independence couldn't come to Duluth because it's on hemp paper."
The lawsuit also disputes the claim that synthetic marijuana is harmful to one's health, although critics say it can cause irrational or dangerous behavior and health risks.