Oakland

Oakland's Harborside Health Center slapped with federal asset forfeiture suit

Posted on July 12th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaCalifornia's most well-known medical marijuana dispensary, Harborside Health Center, was served with a civil complaint for "forfeiture of property" on July 9 for their locations in  both Oakland and San Jose. Employees found court papers announcing asset forfeiture proceedings against Harborside's landlords taped to the doors at the two locations the following morning. The Oakland dispensary has been fully permitted and operating since 2006 without incident. The forfeiture action is against the "third-party" property owner, Real Property and Improvements, and was filed by US Attorney Melinda Haag, who last October announced with the other US Attorneys an escalated campaign against medical marijuana dispensaries and growers.

East Oakland warehouse raid yields 2,500 plants

Posted on April 27th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

CaliforniaPolice arrested 11 suspects and seized 2,500 cannabis plants in a raid of a "heavily fortified" warehouse in East Oakland, authorities announced April 26. Oakland police, including SWAT team members, converged on the warehouse on the 900 block of 89th Ave., which was rigged for video surveillance and had doors bolstered with reinforced steel. In addition to the plants, officers seized 50 pounds of "dried, processed" cannabis; $40,000 in cash; four handguns; a shotgun; two assault rifles; two sets of body armor; and a "ballistics face mask" and helmets, the police department said. "This is one of the largest marijuana recoveries in recent years in the city of Oakland," said Assistant Chief Anthony Toribio. "This was a well-organized marijuana factory." (San Francisco Chronicle, April 27)

California officials decry federal attack on medical marijuana program

Posted on April 9th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaA coalition of medical marijuana patients, activists, dispensing centers, and concerned citizens has compelled public officials to stand up to recent federal attacks. Last week, the new coalition "San Francisco United for Safe Access" held a press conference with several city supervisors and state officials, decrying the Obama administration's aggressive tactics before a crowd of more than 500 supporters. By Friday April 6, San Francisco United had secured a statement from Mayor Ed Lee, expressing his opposition to "recent federal actions targeting duly permitted medicinal cannabis dispensaries...that aim to limit our citizens’ ability to have safe access to the medicine they need."

Feds raid Oaksterdam University

Posted on April 3rd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Dozens of federal agents on April 2 raided Oakland's famed Oaksterdam University and the Lake Merritt area apartment of its owner Richard Lee, California's most prominent cannabis advocate. The armed agents, some wearing face masks, came to the locations with a battering ram, sledgehammer and power saws. Agents from the DEA, IRS and Marshals Service carted away loads of cannabis as well as numerous file boxes, did but not reveal the purpose of the raids, other than to call it part of an "ongoing investigation."

Study dismisses lung damage from moderate cannabis use

Posted on January 10th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

medical marijuanaModerate cannabis use appears to cause no long-term damage to the lungs, according to a new study by the University of California at San Francisco and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, released Jan. 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Results of the 20-year study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, indicate that cannabis doesn't do the kind of damage tobacco does.

Oaksterdam defies federal crackdown

Posted on November 1st, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Richard Lee, central figure in downtown Oakland's cannabis-friendly Oaksterdam enclave, does not appear intimidated by the federal government’s crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries. Lee closed his dispensary, Coffeeshop Blue Sky, this week after US Attorney for California's Northern District Melinda Haag sent a letter to his landlord threatening criminal prosecution. But he promptly reopened it three doors down, with giant posters of cannabis buds in the windows. An employee at the door hands out fliers reading: "Thank you for your support. Together we will survive the attack. Long Live Oaksterdam." Lee told the New York Times he is not afraid of being a target. "If they do decide to prosecute me criminally," he said, "my defense is that juries cannot be punished for their verdicts."

Oakland's Harborside Health Center owes IRS $2 million in back taxes

Posted on October 6th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

medical marijuanaThe IRS has ordered Oakland's Harborside Health Center, biggest cannabis dispensary on the West Coast, to pay $2 million in taxes, ruling that the collective may not deduct standard expenses such as payroll and rent. "They're attempting to tax us out of business," protested owner Steve DeAngelo. Ironically, the same day he received the IRS letter, DeAngelo was photographed handing the Oakland treasury a $360,000 check —third installment of $1 million in city taxes  Harborside generated in 2010.

New Oakland ordinance doubles dispensaries

Posted on July 28th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

The Oakland City Council on July 26 passed an ordinance that will double the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, to eight from the current four—the Oakland Patient Center, the Purple Heart Patient Center, Coffeeshop Blue Sky, and the Harborside Health Center. The new ordinance was passed with an amendment that provides the city with access to all the dispensaries' financial information. And accompanying legislation imposes a $5,000 application fee and a $60,000 annual regulatory fee on each dispensary. The Council put off discussion of amending the city's cultivation ordinance, which would regulate large-scale cannabis farms, until the Public Safety Committee reconvenes in the fall. (Office of the City Clerk, City of Oakland, July 26; San Francisco Chronicle's Oakland Blog, July 13)

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