The City of Oakland filed a petition on October 5 for rehearing en banc in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The filing follows a federal ruling in August that Oakland couldn't challenge the federal government's forfeiture action in July 2012 against Harborside Health Center. The continued court case against Harborside is in violation of last year's congressional passage of the Farr-Rohrabacher bill, which bans the use of federal funding for enforcement against state-legal medical cannabis operations.
"I am profoundly grateful for the support of the City of Oakland, and our entire community," said Steve DeAngelo, executive director of Harborside Health Center. "The citizens of California and this country are sick and tired of having their hard-earned tax dollars spent pursuing legitimate, legally compliant medical cannabis companies who are abiding by the laws enacted by the State."
Legal experts say the en banc will likely serve to extend Judge Maria-Elena James's February 2013 stay of the forfeiture action until after the disposition of this further appeal. Meanwhile, Harborside Health Center is waiting for a response from the Department of Justice, and says that now is the time for the DOJ to dismiss the forfeiture case.
"The DOJ should not be trying to close down Harborside," said DeAngelo, "they should study us as a model of safe and responsible cannabis distribution. In any case, no matter what happens, Harborside will never abandon the patients who depend on us for the medicine their doctors have recommended."
About Harborside Health Center:
"Harborside Health Center, a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary with locations in Oakland and San Jose, California, is looked upon as a model of how others could operate." - The New York Times
Founded in 2006 by Steve DeAngelo, Harborside Health Center is the most respected and largest medical cannabis dispensary in the United States. Harborside has 200,000 registered patients and was first in the nation to support education for seniors, veterans and families with severely ill children; first in the country to offer CBD-rich medicine; and the first to treat children with Dravet syndrome. Harborside continues to set an example of diversity and compliance, and is one of the prime advocates of diversity, sustainability and economic justice in the industry.
DeAngelo also co-founded the nation's first cannabis-testing facility, Steep Hill Labs, and the country's first cannabis investment and research firm, The ArcView Group. His debut book, "The Cannabis Manifesto: A New Paradigm for Wellness," was published by North Atlantic Books and distributed by Penguin/Random House on September 22, 2015; in the book's foreword, Willie L. Brown, Jr., 41st mayor of San Francisco, calls DeAngelo, "the father of the legal cannabis industry." DeAngelo was named one of the most influential people and "gatekeeper" of the marijuana industry in 2015 by the International Business Times, and one of the most influential people in the cannabis industry in 2014 by the Cannabis Business Executive.