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Controversial Duluth head shop forced to close

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The Duluth head shop that has been at the center of controversy for months was forced to shut its doors on Friday night, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

The paper reports that Sixth District judge Eric Hylden late Friday afternoon granted a temporary restraining order to the City of Duluth, and City Attorney Gunnar Johnson tells the WDIO-TV that the order called for the immediate suspension of operations at the Last Place on Earth.

The store had closed by 6:30 p.m, the Duluth Tribune reported, and owner Jim Carlson is prohibited from reopening his head shop at least until a formal hearing on the matter is held at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, in State District Court in Duluth.

Earlier on Friday, the store had stopped selling all synthetic products, WDIO says.

The closing is the latest twist to the on-going battle between the city and Carlson.

U.S. District Judge Michael Davis on Thursday issued an order denying Carlson’s motion for a preliminary injunction to keep the city from enforcing its synthetic drug licensing ordinance.

Carlson faces federal charges, accused of selling misbranded synthetic drugs and chemicals substantially similar to controlled substances. He has long argued that the substances he sells are legal.

MPR reports that Carlson had argued that the ordinance forces him to incriminate himself by applying for a license because, in effect, in the application he would have to admit he sold illegal products. Carlson’s argument is that the incrimination goes against the fifth amendment of the constitution, MPR reports.

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