5 May 2016
“As of today, Harborside Health Center is in the clear and will no longer have to worry about a looming raid. Supporters are pleased to hear that the case has been dropped so that patients suffering from chronic pain can have peace of mind that they will be able to get their medicine through safe dispensaries, such as Harborside Health Center.”
Calling the cannabis center a “marijuana superstore,” the federal government launched an all-out legal attack by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag to shut the dispensary down, along with many like it in the Bay Area.
Dozens, if not hundreds, of other pot dispensaries in California were shut down during the last four years, but Harborside outlasted them all and is now free to conduct business without the threat of a government shutdown, Harborside Executive Director Steve DeAngelo said in a statement.
“When US Attorney Melinda Haag first filed suit to seize the property Harborside is located in, I vowed we would never abandon our patients… and predicted Harborside would outlast the efforts to close us down. Today, thanks to the deep support of our community and our elected officials, and the skill and determination of our legal counsel, that prediction has come true.”
The city of Oakland backed Harborside throughout its extensive legal battle with the federal government and even sued to stop its eviction. The city argued closing the dispensary would lose it valuable tax dollars and increase crime, thus creating a drain on city resources.
The victory for the nation’s largest cannabis dispensary comes at the same time the city of Oakland is set to enact new pot laws to regulate the medical marijuana industry from seed to store.
Although Oakland was one of the first California cities to make medical marijuana dispensaries legal, only eight currently operate in the city; the new laws considered would increase that number to 100.
The new cannabis regulations would also allow Oakland to rake in about $12 million in tax revenue and prohibit pot businesses within 600 feet of schools or youth centers.
Cannabis Business Times also has a report