SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A federal magistrate judge in San Francisco is considering whether to allow California’s largest medical marijuana dispensary to continue to operate in Oakland while that city battles a federal effort to shut down the facility.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James heard arguments Thursday on motions in two related lawsuits concerning the Harborside Health Center but took the cases under submission and will rule at a later date.
The dispute stems from a law enforcement effort in which federal prosecutors throughout California last year began filing forfeiture lawsuits against the landlords of medical marijuana dispensaries that prosecutors considered to be large-scale commercial enterprises.
While California’s 1996 medical marijuana law allows seriously ill patients to use the herb for health purposes, federal laws criminalizing marijuana do not recognize the state law.
Harborside’s Oakland facility and a smaller subsidiary in San Jose were targeted in federal lawsuits filed…
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