Last Place Halts Synthetic Sales, Business Goes to Iron Range

By KBJR News 1

July 11, 2013 Updated Jul 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - At 11:45 Thursday morning Last Place on Earth employee Joey Gellerman got a call from head shop owner Jim Carlson saying no synthetics were to be sold that day.

For many of the dozens of people who had been waiting eagerly in line for up to two hours, the decision didn't sit well.

"Why only Duluth," asked Cloquet resident Peter Johnson, "why are they picking on the Last Place? I mean, they're segregating a specific group of people, and putting all the trouble on them."

Johnson was just one of many who expressed a similar opinion, adding that some of Carlson's clients would now make the trek north, to Virginia.

"It's gonna happen," Johnson said with certainty.

At Manseau's Range Music, on Chestnut Street in Virginia, a myriad of products are available, including an extensive collection of CDs, and this: a gram and a half of blueberry flavored "Twilite."

Its one of about a dozen options for purchase at the store in the synthetic spice category labeled "not for human consumption."

While Range Music employees declined to be interviewed, and would not allow us to shoot video in the store, a small handful of Last Place customers could be seen coming and going from the store.

"In the meantime, while we're not selling, everybody else—Virginia, Aurora, Hibbing, Grand Rapids, Brainerd, Bemidji, Ashland—everybody else is selling extra. People are getting it, bringing it into town, selling it here, and driving [back] up and getting it [again]," said Carlson, back outside of his shop on Thursday.

And while sales did technically stop at Last Place on Earth, "I don't think it stopped a single person from getting it," said Carlson. "All it's done is stop us from selling it for a couple of days until we finish up our court in the next few days."

Carlson added that he plans to go after the city of Duluth for the financial losses he suffered today, and most likely, tomorrow and possibly the rest of the week.

Meanwhile, Carlson and his attorney Randall Tigue spent their morning in the Court of Appeals, challenging a 2011 raid of Last Place, plus the city's first nuisance order against the head shop.

Nothing was decided today by the three judge Appeals Court.

Carlson will be in Federal Court tomorrow for his lawsuit against the city's new ordinance.

- Posted to the Web by Billy Wagness