Oakland took the unusual step this week of filing suit in an attempt to stop the federal government from closing down one of the largest medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Attorneys for Harborside Health Center said the suit against the federal government appears to be the first such action by a municipality on behalf of a marijuana dispensary.
The city says that federal attempts to seize the property, which began in July, contradicted promises by officials with the Obama administration who have said that dispensaries complying with state laws would not be targeted by federal agencies. Melinda Haag, U.S. attorney for Northern California, has contended that Harborside is not complying with California’s law because it is a large-scale operation that processes millions of dollars worth of business. Oakland leaders say the city, like many other jurisdictions, built an entire regulatory scheme based on the federal government’s promise, only to find dispensaries under attack.