Duluth synthetics owner seeking new location

Published 11:08 am Friday, August 30, 2013

DULUTH — The owner of a synthetic drugs store that has bedeviled downtown Duluth said he could be back in business in a new location as early as next week.

Jim Carlson said that he has been in contact with several building owners in Duluth and the surrounding area since he hung a sign in his shop window over the weekend.

Carlson’s Last Place on Earth has been closed while a judge weighs evidence in a civil nuisance case brought by the city. Duluth wants to shut down the shop for a year because of frequent complaints about his customers’ behavior.

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“I’m already getting a few responses from people saying they would not have any problem,” Carlson said. “I’m going to wait for all the options and see what we’ve got.”

Duluth, Hermantown and Proctor in Minnesota and Superior in Wisconsin have passed ordinances regulating synthetic drugs. In Duluth, that includes obtaining a license to sell synthetics. Carlson said he again would refuse to apply for any license that he believes is unconstitutional.

Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson said Carlson could open a store elsewhere, but if he sells synthetics without a city license the city will take the same legal steps as before, including ticketing or an injunction to shut him down.

A decision in the nuisance case isn’t expected for several weeks.