A U.S. magistrate has rejected the city of Oakland's attempt to throw a legal roadblock into the forced closure of the Harborside marijuana dispensary. The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California is threatening Harborside's landlord with forfeiture of the property, and Oakland had filed suit to block it.
U.S. Magistrate Maria-Elena James threw out the city's challenge on grounds it did not have standing in the case. The challenge of Harborside itself, however, has not been ruled on yet.
“I'm disappointed by today’s decision but it doesn’t really change the Harborside case," Harborside owner Steve DeAngelo told me today. "Harborside will remain open. We still intend to go to trial and we will win at that trial ... The decision will have no effect on Harborside's legal position or on our daily operations."
DeAngelo said he thought it would be a year at the earliest before the case is resolved.
Oakland was the first city to file suit against the federal government for targeting marijuana facilities. The city claimed the federal government can’t seize the property that Harborside leases because the federal statue of limitations ran out. It also claimed the federal government misled the city into thinking it could license dispensaries without legal consequences. But no decision has been made on the merits of those arguments as of yet.