Skip to main content

Duluth to regulate shops that sell synthetic drugs


The Duluth City Council approved a new ordinance Monday night that will require businesses selling synthetic drugs to be licensed by the city, the News Tribune reports.

Members also passed a measure that makes it illegal for anyone to consume products that are labeled "not for human consumption."

“We are not condoning the use of synthetic drugs. We are not legalizing synthetic drugs. We are merely regulating synthetic drugs,” City Councilor Linda Krug, who co-sponsored the ordinances, told the newspaper.

“I feel that by licensing this product, you are admitting the legality that I’ve always stated,” Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson said at the meeting.

Carlson claims the products he sells are legal, but officers have raided his embattled head shop in downtown Duluth three times in the past two years, according to WDIO.

In April, authorities arrested Carlson and his son, Joseph Gellerman, as part of a long-running investigation into synthetic drugs. They're both charged with four counts of fourth-degree sale of controlled substances.

Carlson, Gellerman and two others also face 54 federal counts for violating drug and product-labeling laws, and are scheduled to go on trial in September.

Lawmakers at the state and federal levels have tried banning some synthetic drugs. But drug makers have been able to skirt the laws by changing the formulas used to make the drugs.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Kirill Kaprizov's slow start is a thing of the past

A potential sophomore slump has been erased with a three-point night against the Devils..

mpd aldi incident screengrab

Video shows MPD officer grab, throw Aldi customer

The department says the matter was referred to the Office of Police Conduct Review.

US Sec Defense Flickr - Joe Bide Nov 11 2021

Biden lays out wintertime plan to curb COVID's spread

It comes as the U.S. reported its second case of the omicron variant.

Willow River DOC

MN Dept. of Corrections offering $5K bonuses as it seeks to hire 200

The DOC is offering hiring bonuses for new employees and for referrals.


3rd federal medical team to join COVID-19 fight in Minnesota

There are more than 1,500 people with COVID-19 admitted to Minnesota hospitals.

hospital, emergency room

Driver killed after other motorist crosses into opposite lane

The head-on crash occurred early Thursday, just north of the Twin Cities.

shot clock

MSHSL approves shot clock for Minnesota varsity basketball

Shot clocks will be required at all varsity games beginning in 2023-24.

Redmons Popcorn Colbert screengrab

Popcorn shop featured on 'The Late Show' has to close 2 days later

A county inspection after the national TV appearance found code violations.