BAY CITY, MI — A North Dakota man is facing a felony charge related to his alleged illegal sales of marijuana from his Bay County business.

Eric F. Owens, 46, on Friday, Sept. 4, appeared before Bay County Chief District Judge Dawn A. Klida via Zoom from the Bay County Jail. Klida arraigned Owens on one count of delivery or manufacture of marijuana or synthetic equivalents, second offense.

The charge is normally a four-year felony, but the second-offense addendum increases the maximum potential penalty to eight years in prison.

Owens told the judge he lives in Lincoln, North Dakota. Defense attorney Joshua Covert said Owens grew up in the Midland area and has local family. Covert said Owens has been in the area for the summer, living on a boat in a marina, and has been working to establish a residence in Michigan.

Klida said Owens previously skipped bond on a Midland County drug case and fled to North Dakota. She ended up setting bond at $20,000 cash-surety, a condition of which is that Owens not use illegal substances.

Owens owns Deeply Content, 808 N. Euclid Ave. in Bangor Township. The business’ website states it sells “premium cannabis smoking supplies and apparel.”

On Thursday, Sept. 3, the Michigan State Police’s Marijuana and Tobacco Investigation Section executed a search warrant on Deeply Content. They have alleged the business was selling marijuana without a state facility license as required under Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act of 2016 and the Taxation of Marihuana Act of 2018.

Troopers arrested Owens the day they executed the search warrant.

Owens has since posted bond and is not in jail as of Saturday, Sept. 5.

Owens is due back in court for a preliminary examination at 3 p.m. on Sept. 24.

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