The feds are at it again.
Government attorneys are continuing their attempts to shut down Oakland, California-based Harborside Health Center, one of the first large-scale dispensaries in the United States, despite strong signals from Washington DC that these types of businesses should be left alone.
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag’s office first targeted Harborside in 2012 – not because it allegedly violated any state MMJ laws, but simply because it was too big.
In response, Oakland city attorneys sued to block Haag’s actions, saying Harborside – which reportedly has annual revenues of more than $25 million – is a valuable part of the community and that its closure would result in a public health crisis.
Now, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing the case, and attorneys for Haag appeared in court on Tuesday.
Haag’s decision to continue with the case is puzzling, given recent developments.
In 2013, the federal government issued a memo saying U.S. attorneys should limit resources put toward targeting legitimate cannabis businesses operating within state laws. And a bill signed by President Barack Obama in December specifically prohibits the Department of Justice from using federal funds to block states from implementing cannabis laws.
The problem, however, is that the wording in the memo and the bill aren’t policy, U.S. Rep. Sam Farr, a California Democrat, told the Huffington Post.