World’s Largest Pot Shop, Harborside Health Center In Oakland, Will Remain Open Despite Court Loss [PHOTOS]
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | February 21, 2013 2:58 AM EST
Harborside Health Center in Oakland, Calif., known as the “world’s largest pot shop,” said it will still operate despite a Tuesday ruling rejecting a suit filed by the city on behalf of the dispensary.
On Tuesday, U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James dismissed the lawsuit from the City of Oakland against Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag seeking to halt the closure of the pot shop. Haag had said in July the store, which was featured on Discovery Channel’s television series "Weed Wars,” has become too large an operation, in line with the Obama administration’s marijuana crackdown in 2010.
"We are, of course, disappointed in today’s ruling," Harborside executive director Steve DeAngelo said in a statement. "In the meantime, Harborside will continue to provide our patients with the very best cannabis medicines we can find, in the safest and most beautiful environment we can create, with the very highest level of care and service."
California is one of 18 states which allows medical marijuana after voters passed Proposition 215, though the drug is still illegal according to the federal government.
Harborside, which has shops in Oakland and San Jose, is known as the world’s largest with 108,000 patients spending about $20 million annually. The city of Oakland had filed a suit back in October to halt the closure of Harborside, despite the dispensary generating $3 million in tax revenue locally as well as at state and federal levels each year.
“The message of Oakland's lawsuit remains powerful and relevant: The City Council and mayor have determined that if Harborside Health Center is closed, the entire city will be harmed," DeAngelo said.
Back in January, the same magistrate ruled the dispensary could remain open amidst the suit to shut Harborside down. The case will open again in March.
"We appreciate the ongoing support of our fellow citizens and elected officials, along with the fairness and thoroughness Judge James has exhibited throughout these proceedings," DeAngelo said. "We continue to look forward to our own day in court, and are confident that a Bay Area jury will recognize Harborside’s positive contributions and decline to shut our doors."
View the slideshow to see photos of the “world’s largest pot shop,” Harborside Health Center.
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