Hermantown passes synthetic marijuana ban
Hermantown has joined its larger Twin Ports neighbors in adopting an ordinance outlawing synthetic marijuana. Hermantown city councilors followed Duluth and Superior in banning the substance at a regular council meeting Monday night. Duluth's ban...
Hermantown has joined its larger Twin Ports neighbors in adopting an ordinance outlawing synthetic marijuana.
Hermantown city councilors followed Duluth and Superior in banning the substance at a regular council meeting Monday night. Duluth's ban was suspended Wednesday, however, pending resolution of a legal challenge by the owner of a downtown shop that sells the product.
The Hermantown council unanimously passed the ordinance restricting the use, possession or sale of fake pot, sold under names including "Spice," "K2," "Genie," and "Yucatan Fire."
The ordinance is similar to the one passed in Duluth, according to Hermantown City Administrator John Mulder. Starting today, if a business in Hermantown is found to be selling the fake marijuana product, it will face a misdemeanor charge and also could lose its tobacco license.
Mulder wasn't aware of any businesses in Hermantown that currently sell synthetic marijuana. The products are sold as incense, but can be smoked like a cigarette to produce a high similar to that of marijuana. Critics say synthetic marijuana can cause irrational or dangerous behavior and health risks.
"When we heard of the Duluth ban, we thought we may need to follow suit because people would just move," Mulder said of businesses potentially relocating to Hermantown if there wasn't a ban.
Councilor Brad Tafs said because of the health risks involved, the council wanted to be proactive.
Mulder acknowledged that with loopholes found in other states' bans and the lawsuit in Duluth, the Hermantown ordinance is probably not foolproof on its own.
"It does beg for a statewide solution," Mulder said.