Duluth head shop saga: Owner assaulted, synthetic drug ruling expected


The ongoing drama starring a downtown Duluth head shop continues to get trippier.

At the center of the saga is Jim Carlson, owner of The Last Place on Earth, who has been locked in a battle with city officials and police over his sale of synthetic drugs.

Now the Duluth News Tribune reports that Carlson was assaulted Wednesday night by a 34-year-old woman. Carlson says he had a restraining order against the woman, who he says has tried to break into his store in the past. Court records said he has purchased Carlson’s synthetic drugs.

On Wednesday night, Carlson stood in front of his shop, woozy, his shirt ripped open and blood dripping down his chest, but he declined medical treatment, the News Tribune reports. The woman was arrested on an assault charge, the newspaper reports.

Carlson told WDIO that he broke a collarbone in the incident. There were several others involved in the altercation, Carlson told WDIO, which shows surveillance video of the scuffle.

Meanwhile, Carlson's shop was quiet Thursday because it was the first day a new city ordinance had taken effect that regulates the sale of synthetic drugs, the newspaper reported.

Carlson hopes that on Friday a U.S. magistrate judge will issue a temporary injunction against the city's new law, which is aimed at Carlson's business. It would be the latest development in the long-burning controversy.

City officials say Carlson's shop is a nuisance business. City attorneys cite 2,800 police calls at the store from September of 2011 to August of 2012, Northland Newscenter noted.

The flow of synthetic drugs across the state of Minnesota has generated so much controversy that lawmakers have created a panel to seek new state regulations.

Next Up

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.


Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.


Border officers seize more than $550K in counterfeit designer goods

The shipments of fake goods were seized on Jan. 22.

Landfill plastic bags

4 Twin Cities landfills seek to expand capacity

This comes as the area's waste-to-energy facilities are operating at capacity.

Marcus Carr

3 of 10 finalists for NCAA's top point guard award have MN ties

Not a bad way to represent the State of... Basketball?

Justice, court

Minnesota grants unconditional pardon to grandmother facing deportation

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the first full pardon granted by the state in 35 years.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 25

The latest figures from MDH have been released.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.