In a ruling Oakland’s Attorney Cedric Chao has called “very significant”, a federal judge has ruled in favor of the city, and against the feds, in stating that Harborside Health Center – one of the nation’s largest medical cannabis dispensaries (featured on Discover Channel’s Weed Wars) – can remain open and operational while the city continues to fight the federal government’s attempts to shut the location down.
“The court has recognized that Oakland has legitimate interests in protecting its residents’ health, in promoting public safety, and in protecting the integrity of its legislative framework for the regulation of medical cannabis,” stated Chao, “Today’s order, coming right before the July Fourth holiday, reminds us all that one of the strengths of our country is its independent judiciary.”
The ruling comes several months after U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag filed a forfeiture case aimed at seizing the building in which the dispensary is located. The feds had attempted to immediately shut the location down, which this new ruling declares they can’t do, at least while the city of Oakland sues over the validity of the fed’s legal challenge; they believe that they have the authority to issue permits for medical cannabis facilities.
The city of Oakland claims that closing dispensaries in their city will result in a significant loss in tax revenue, as well as an increase in crime as most patients would then resort to the black-market.
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag has so far refused to comment on the new ruling to any media source.