Harborside Health Center, now known as Harborside, was established in 2006. You can find its retail locations in Oakland, San Jose, San Leandro, and Desert Hot Springs, California. They also have a 47-acre farm in Monterey County.
The brain behind the recreational and medical cannabis dispensary is industry veteran and activist Steve DeAngelo. Harborside operates as a non-profit organization. Since its founding, it has been consistently leading the way in innovating the modern cannabis industry.
Harborside Health Center has had its fair share of media attention. In 2011, it was even featured in the four-part documentary series of Discovery Channel called Weed Wars. CNN also featured the organization in the first episode of its Inside Man documentary.
The episode takes a look inside the medical marijuana industry in California. It showed its host and producer Morgan Spurlock working in Harborside. Moreover, the show also gave us insight regarding the legal troubles the center is battling.
Today, Harborside is considered as one of the biggest non-profit medical cannabis dispensaries in the country, serving more than 250,000 customers.
Trouble on the Horizon
In 2012, Melinda Haag, the Northern District of California US Attorney, filed civil forfeiture lawsuits against the owners of Harborside’s two locations. The reason behind it was to evict the dispensaries. However, Harborside stood their ground and disputed the eviction cases in the state court, declaring that they comply with both local and state laws.
The Oakland eviction case was dismissed by the Superior Court judge, pointing out that the dispensary’s lease states explicitly that intent of the premises is for distributing medical marijuana. Harborside gained the support of the City of Oakland. In fact, they even attempted to join them in their fight. However, a judge overruled the city’s action.
Furthermore, the center obtained the support of three members of Congress from California in 2015. They are Representatives Barbara Lee, Sam Farr, and Dana Rohrabacher. The trio even released a statement to confirm their support. And in 2016, the 4-year battle of Harborside Health Center came to a close when the Department of Justice dropped the case against them.
Meanwhile, in 2018, after a decade long of hard work, DeAngelo sold the first-ever gram of legal cannabis to an adult in California. This is no doubt a historic event, giving an end to its prohibition and paving the way to the modern cannabis industry.
The Harborside Promise
The promise of Harborside to their customers is quite simple, and that is to “sell you the best products in the world, cultivated from the finest California cannabis.” They guarantee that cannabis products are of the utmost quality, along with the best possible service and selection process.
Harborside was the first cannabis retailer in the United States for cannabis products to undergo meticulous testing. They want to make sure that these products are free of impurities like pesticides and only contain the proper potency levels of both THC and CBD.
Over the years, Harborside’s stand remains unwavering. They continue to set the cannabis compliance bar higher for others to follow. Further, they encourage education for veterans, seniors, and families with ailing children.
With this, Harborside aims to continue to lead the cannabis industry into more development and advancement.
I’m a Technical and Creative freelance writer with extensive knowledge of WordPress and Shopify. I work with companies on building their brand, optimizing their website, and providing them with rich content. I also run a local travel agency with my family. In my free time, I love reading books, exploring the unknown, playing with my two adorable dogs, and watching K-dramas.