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Federal Judge Says Nation’s Medical Cannabis Model, Harborside Health Center, Can Stay Open


harborside health center medical marijuana cannabis dispensaryU.S. District Court Denies Landlord Injunctions In Oakland And San Jose

Oakland, Calif. – On Monday, January 7, Chief Federal Magistrate Maria-Elena James ruled in favor of Harborside Health Center (HHC), and denied motions by Harborside’s landlords asking the court to order an immediate halt of cannabis sales at their properties. In a highly significant, 17-page opinion released today, Judge James also declined to grant a motion from the City of Oakland to immediately enjoin the federal government’s legal efforts to close Harborside, but scheduled a hearing later this month to hear further arguments in the City of Oakland’s lawsuit.

“We are grateful that Judge James carefully considered the facts and arguments in the Harborside case, and decided to grant us our day in court,” said HHC Executive Director Steve DeAngelo. “We have always believed that a Bay Area jury will recognize the value that Harborside brings to the community, and refuse to allow the federal government to seize the properties where we are located. We look forward to proving our case in front of a jury, and continue to believe we will prevail. In the meantime, we ask the Department of Justice to immediately freeze enforcement actions against Harborside and any other cannabis providers acting in full compliance with state law. Our nation’s law enforcement officers should concentrate on real crime.”

In addition, the court found that entering injunctions against Harborside would not be an appropriate means of preventing illegal use of the property and that “there is nothing…  indicating that Harborside’s continued operation compromises the existence, value, or title of either the Oakland or San Jose Property.” The court ruling stated, “Any argument about the urgency of stopping Harborside’s activities rings hollow.”

Harborside’s lead attorney, Henry Wykowski, commented, “We are gratified that Judge James listened to and analyzed the parties’ arguments so thoroughly and has now rendered an opinion that will ensure Harborside has the right to present its case to a jury. Despite the government’s efforts to shortcut the case, Harborside will now be able to fully defend itself at trial. That is all we had asked, and the court has now agreed. The stage is now set for a jury trial on the underlying issues of the litigation, which will probably take place in about one year.”

Notably, in response to initial federal forfeiture actions, HHC attorneys cited the statute of limitations, as Harborside has been in business for over six years. All other claimants in these proceedings, including the City of Oakland, have adopted this defense.


About Harborside Health Center:

Harborside Health Center is the nation’s largest not-for-profit model medical cannabis dispensary with locations in Oakland and San Jose, California. The collective was co-founded in 2006 by national cannabis leader Steve DeAngelo, and serves approximately 100,000 registered patients. A landmark facility, HHC offers patients free holistic health services, lab-tested medicine, a low-income care package program, substance misuse support and education, while strictly complying with state and local laws regarding medical cannabis. For more details, visit the Oakland medical cannabis dispensary online at http://www.harborsidehealthcenter.com/.


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Johnny Green


  1. Harborside is a shuck! D’Angelo’s pot prices are sky high. Customers pay for thick, heavy glass bottles, fancy-shmancy retail set-up, idiots behind the sales counter who know nothing but profess expert knowledge and will say anything to hustle a sale, frightening thugs for “security.”
    Your cash buys you trappings and distractions and the chill thrill of the company of weirdos — but you walk out with precious little pot in that expensive jar.
    D’Angelo is model of corporate exploitation, that is all. He is a posterboy of greed. He is a slick hustler with a stupid haircut even though he hires people one would cross the street to avoid.
    If he has reduced Oaktown’s street crime and gangstas, it is only by bringing the racket into a “business plan” and giving his mules payroll tax status.

  2. The Feds should leave medical marijuana alone and take care of the failing economy. Marijuana was legal in America for years before it was banned, and nothing horrible happened. Cannabis will only help people in pain, and be a very mild tame recreational habit to others. Better for America that many people use marijuana than most other drugs and alcohol. Marijuana is a very healthy food if taken as an edible, not smoked. There is a great $2.99 e-book on medical marijuana: MARIJUANA – Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. This book has great recipes for easy marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints.

  3. Sandusky’s attorney, Roger Jon Diamond, contends that his client was running a perfectly legal operation under California law. Prosecutors, however, see it differently.

    Sandusky “is an unrepentant manipulator who used the perceived ambiguity surrounding ‘medical’ marijuana to exploit a business opportunity for himself,” prosecutors wrote in sentencing papers.

    The defendant “built a veneer of legitimacy around his criminal enterprise using his customers’ good-faith search for pain relief. There is absolutely no altruistic component to defendant’s continued and sustained criminality,” prosecutors stated.

  4. At Jackson’s trial, San Diego Superior Court Judge Howard Shore referred to medical marijuana as “dope,” and called California’s medical marijuana laws “a scam.”

  5. Great news! We’re starting to win all over the country. Keep going America, we’ll have a GREEN ECONOMY in no time

  6. A prime example of the People using the law the government uses against us. I am proud of Your Honor and pray more members of the Judiciary branch of our “government ” fall in line.

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