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Magistrate refuses to stop targeted CA pot shops

Posted: January 8, 2013 3:00 a.m.
Updated: January 8, 2013 3:00 a.m.

In this Feb. 1, 2011 file photo, Harborside Health Center employee Gerard Barber stands behind medical marijuana clone plants at the dispensary in Oakland.

 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A medical marijuana dispensary that bills itself as the nation's largest has won another round in its fight to stay open amid a federal crackdown.

A federal magistrate in San Francisco on Monday refused to order Harborside Health Center to stop selling pot while the government tries to prove the establishment are illegal under federal law and must close.

Harborside's landlords in San Jose and Oakland had asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James to enjoin the dispensaries' ongoing operations.

They argued that they remain at risk as long as pot continues to be sold on their premises because U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag has threatened to seize the rented properties.

But James said she was unconvinced that allowing Harborside to stay in business for now would undermine the value or ownership of the buildings it occupies.

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