Feds Drop Forfeiture Case Against Harborside Health Center


On May 3, 2016, the United States dropped its case against Harborside Health Center, a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, California, as reported by KGO-TV.

Harborside’s legal battle started on July 9, 2012, when U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag filed U.S. v. Real Property & Improvements Located at 1840 Embarcadero, Oakland, California. The filing was a civil complaint on behalf of the United States that sought to make Harborside forfeit its dispensary properties in Oakland and San Jose.

The City of Oakland has endorsed Harborside from the beginning, even filing a lawsuit in attempt to prevent the feds from seizing Harborside’s dispensary properties. While Oakland’s lawsuit was unsuccessful, the city has continued to support Harborside.

With the approval of city officials, Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director of Harborside, and Henry Wykowski, lead attorney, will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. PT on the steps of Oakland’s City Hall. DeAngelo and Wykowski will discuss the details of the dismissal, which the DOJ and Harborside agreed upon in exchange for Harborside’s promise not to pursue any more claims or appeals.

“When US Attorney Melinda Haag first filed suit to seize the property Harborside is located in, I vowed we would never abandon our patients who—and predicted Harborside would outlast the efforts to close us down,” DeAngelo said.

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. We believe this dismissal signals the beginning of the end of federal Prohibition; and thank our patients, staff, and supporters everywhere for help achieving this historic victory.”

“As someone who advocated for Oakland’s nation-leading system to permit, tax and regulate cannabis facilities from the beginning, I have been very pleased at their success in providing clean and safe facilities that contribute positively to the surrounding community,” said Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember At-Large.

“Harborside Health Center has been a strong positive presence in Oakland, both for the patients they serve, the workers they employ, and for the vital public services that are supported by their tax revenues,” Kaplan said. “I am glad that Oakland’s work on the Federal case helped keep Harborside open during this dispute, and heartened to know that the threat against them is now removed.”

The staff byline designates content that has been written by a staff writer of MJINews.

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