California dispensary ruling ‘great’ for marijuana industry

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A federal judge in San Francisco has tossed out the last remaining forfeiture action filed against a medical marijuana business in California.

The action, filed against Berkeley Patients Group three years ago by the U.S. attorney’s office in Northern California, was dismissed with prejudice on Tuesday, said BPG’s attorney, Henry Wykowski.

That means the DOJ will not be able to bring the case again, which equates to total victory for the dispensary.

“This is good for BPG, but significantly overall this means we have now successfully concluded all four of the forfeiture actions that were filed by the U.S. attorney in Northern California,” Wykowski said. “And as far as I know, there are no coming forfeiture actions against the cannabis industry anywhere in the United States.”

Wykowski was also the lead attorney on the other three cases, two of which were filed against Harborside Health Center and another against Shambhala Healing Center. The Harborside case was dropped in May, and the Shambhala case was dismissed in 2014.

For a period, many believed the DOJ would be successful in running the entire medical marijuana industry out of business by using asset-forfeiture tactics.

“This is great. You’ve got to go back to four years ago when everyone thought this was the end of the cannabis industry,” Wykowski said. “And we fought back and we won.”