Nation's Biggest Marijuana Dispensary Is Wearing Out Its Welcome in San Jose

Categories: Marijuana
Thumbnail image for Harborside pot.jpg
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It is no secret that Harborside Health Center sells medical cannabis. Harborside sells lots and lots of it, according to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, who wants to shut down the dispensary's two locations in Oakland and San Jose, in part because of Harborside's sheer size.

Concourse Business Center, Harborside's landlord in San Jose and the current target of an asset forfeiture proceeding filed by Haag, knew full well that Harborside was in the business of selling weed (one need only watch a rerun of the Discovery Channel's Weed Wars to see Harborside in action). Concourse just didn't know marijuana was illegal, according to court papers filed this week.

In a motion filed in federal court Wednesday, Concourse -- which is in the process of trying to evict Harborside from the property before the feds can take it -- asked a federal judge to stop HHC's marijuana trade. The move appears designed to keep the property out of the feds' hands -- but Harborside's president Thursday pledged to stay put.

Already, Haag's office has shut down more than a dozen dispensaries in the Bay Area since last October; she issued letters to the pot clubs threatening asset forfeiture and jail time if they didn't close. Harborside -- with more than 100,000 registered members, aka "patients" -- would be the biggest haul to date for the feds, which has yet to seize any dispensary property in court. 

Most of the other dispensaries agreed to leave their locations after discussions with the landlord, in some cases they left because their leases specifically stated that any violation of law, state, or federal, was cause for eviction.

Harborside's lease has no such clause. In fact, the dispensary's lease "makes it explicitly clear what our activities are," said Steve DeAngelo, Harborside's CEO. "They're claiming that they believed [selling marijuana] was legal in the state of California. Now they've been informed [by the federal government] that it is not legal."

In the papers filed this week, Concourse's attorneys state that it has taken action "since learning that Harborside's activity at the Property violates federal law." 

This maneuver is designed to help Concourse hold onto its property, DeAngelo said.

"It's unfortunate -- they're in a difficult position," he said. "But we intend to remain in both of our locations to the best of our ability, with every single legal means at our disposal."

It's unclear what impact the injunction, if granted at a hearing scheduled for Oct. 11, would have on the forfeiture proceedings on Oct. 16. If granted, it would certainly put a damper on Harborside's business -- which might make any further lawsuits moot.

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The stupidest law in history won't stand forever.



Harborside should stick and stay and challenge the feds and their weasely attempts to push everyone around .it only takes 1 person to change  to challenge and change a law / the feds are trying this stunt everywhere and people are rolling over  .Melinda the hag is sure living up to her name. guess what  Melinda ,Harborside will stop you and the other 3  mean spirited misguided attorney generals in your tracks.soon weed will be everywhere. stoners Rule!

malcolmkyle16 topcommenter

Prohibitionists are neither civil nor productive members of society, they are soulless parasites—inhuman, oppressive criminals from whom protection is required.  


Maybe many of the early Prohibitionists did not really intend to kill hundreds of thousands worldwide, or put 1 in every 30 American adults under supervision of the correctional system. But similar to our "Great Experiment" of the 1920s, the prohibition of various other drugs has once again spawned rampant off-the-scale criminality & corruption, a bust economy, mass unemployment, a mind-boggling incarceration rate, a civil war in Mexico, an un-winnable war in Afghanistan and an even higher rate of drug-use (both legal & illegal) than in all other countries that have far more sensible policies. 


Prohibition is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare; if you support it you must be either ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, insane or corrupt.


"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." 

—George Washington


The morally & fiscally bankrupt policy of prohibition is a dire threat to the well-being of all of us—if you support it then you are "an enemy of the people" and should be dealt with as such.



Regardless the decades of time & energy WASTED on inadequate State initiatives, public protests and endless court battles...The world's oldest global culture does not need (and will never get) permission to exist from an extinctionistic, dysfunctional, hyper-violent, morally & fiscally bankrupt, physiologically and mentally degenerate, evolutionarily disintegrated, transient and hypocritical, corporately corrupted political regime. The insidious prohibitionist construct can only result in the inevitable counter-productive result we are willingly participating in.  


ANY tolerance for ideas about controlling, taxing and regulating any "herb"  -- as if it really was a "drug" -- is fundamentally misguided from the outset.  "Drugs" don't make seeds. "Herbs" make seeds. You can make a drug from an herb but you can't make an herb from a drug! They are not the same thing! Where is the legal distinction that reflects the reality of the many differences between drug and herbs?


Why does the contemporary Cannabis culture simply continue to accept that herbs are, somehow, rightfully regulated by a "drug" agency? Since when is farming any "herb bearing seed...and every green herb" no longer a fundamental human right, and forced through manipulation, propaganda and illogic under the jurisdiction of the corporately controlled courts.


The contemporary Cannabis culture has yet to recognize and fully acknowledge itself, in solidarity, as the world's most ancient global culture. To reclaim our legitimacy,  We the People of the Cannabis culture need to identify Cannabis as both unique and essential.  In doing so Cannabis will be elevated to its rightful stature, which is in fact valuable beyond the rightful jurisdiction of any court.


The evolution of revolution is revaluation. Viva la revaluacion!Fragmentation of the Cannabis "movement" into distinct "medical", "industrial","nutritional", "recreational" and "spiritual" compartments has divided and bureaucratized the grassroots. We have been misled by "pro-Cannabis" bureaucrats, who have a vested interest in conceding rightful jurisdiction over "every herb bearing seed." Every "voter initiative" that begs permission (that will never come), has been sold to us as a way to "legalize" or "decriminalize" marijuana,  while our freedom to farm "every herbbearing seed" has been undermined and disempowered by the "drug policy reform establishment" including DPA, NORML, MPP, ASA and the rest of the oxymorons who have failed to end prohibition.  


In spite of the obscene amount of money and time spent in "fighting" lobbying and voting to regain what is our god-given right to grow, use, smoke, plant, harvest, sell, and worship the Cannabis plant, in ALL of its many forms and uses; criminal disregard for the public will continues to be demonstrated by the blatantly misanthropic, anti-Constitutional, federal ("feral") government's increasing harassment of California dispensaries.


It is amazing and enormously sad to observe that regardless of mankind's imminent, predictable, foreseeable extinction as the result of compounding systemic imbalances being imposed on environment, economics, and social order, we are STILL allowing ourselves to be herded into hoping for relief through an impotent and disingenuous vote. Our children will grow up justifiably angry at us for our collective cowardice. "Essential civilian demand" is the surest, quickest way to reclaim our (federally and internationally) un-restricted access to the one and ONLY plant that can reverse climate change, before we run out of growing seasons. Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications Committee on Homeland Security: "Essential Civilian Demand" we recognize 'time' as the limiting factor in the equation of survival, and every growing season wasted  in argument as an opportunity lost,  then one day very soon we will wake up to realize that there is nothing that can be done to prevent our own, self-inflicted extinction, following a period of unthinkable suffering, illness and death.

knowa1 topcommenter

To all people of the Cannabis Culture we must circle our wagons and every one should follow Paul Revere example for we are on the right side of history  The FED's are Coming.   The FED's are Coming.

in addition all eye should follow the DEA having to justify the classification of Cannabis, the hearing between ASA vs DEA October 16th 



@barbarian.bob1 "it only takes 1 person to change  to challenge and change a law"  So juror can fight millions of dollars worth of federal effort by saying "not guilty".


Tips for becoming a stealth juror:  If you are called up to perform jury duty in a marijuana case, you will be asked by the prosecutor if you would convict someone for a marijuana offense.  Say "Maybe if the prosecutor can make a good case".  During jury deliberations, vote not guilty.  Do not give a personal reason for voting not guilty; just say that you don't think that the prosecution proved its case.  Your vote will result in a hung jury which will force the prosecutor to offer the defendant a better plea deal.  If enough marijuana cases end in hung juries, prosecutors will not bother to try these cases.  This strategy helped end alcohol prohibition.

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