Marijuana

The Most Powerful People in the Marijuana Industry

A Fortune list highlights those fighting the good fight against pot prohibition.

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Steve DeAngelo is no stranger to advocacy on behalf of unpopular positions. A former Yippie who helped nominate a pig for president at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, DeAngelo has been an advocate for responsible cannabis consumption and distribution for decades. Now he's made it onto Forbes' Fortune's list of the seven most powerful people in the marijuana industry.

DeAngelo founded Harborside Health Center in Oakland ten years ago, and has since grown it into one of the largest medical marijuana dispensaries in the world. As described by Forbes Fortune:

While recreational marijuana is still not legal in California, Harborside says it still manages to pull in more than $35 million in annual medical pot sales from what is now a pair of Northern California locations. (Harborside briefly opened a recreational dispensary in Portland, Ore., but recently pulled out of that state to focus on California expansion.)

Deangelo is also president and co-founder of The ArcView Group, a cannabis-focused investor network and research group that works to connect investors with entrepreneurs in the budding industry. ArcView's website boasts of raising at least $70 million for more than 100 companies since its 2010 founding.

He's also worked tirelessly on behalf of patients and the medical legitimacy of the plant. But none of that has stopped the federal government from repeatedly and illegitimately trying to shut Harborside down over the past 5 years. Reason TV visited DeAngelo at Harborside last year to find out how he was teaming up with the city of Oakland to fight back against the feds:

And if you're wondering why the federal government ignores state sovereignty and treats pot the same as heroin in the first place, watch below.

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  1. So when do the ‘liberals’ go on a tirade and war against ‘Big Pot’. Seriously, how many years will it be before the left leads a crusade to make cannabis illegal again? They helped lead the crusade to make alcohol illegal and they pretty much have been fighting cigarettes and now e-cigarettes all on their own. Not to mention sodium, salt, GMOs, lots of other boogeymen all on their own.

    1. Stop Big 420!

      1. I’m actually being serious. Just wait a decade or so and someone people somehow hurts themselves with weed and the media runs with it. The left cannot help it, it’s their nature, they’ll shit their pants, freak the fuck out, and start going on about the children. And this time they’ll have the conservatards aligned with them. Only they’ll fail again like they did with alcohol. This time even worse since they’ll never manage to actually make cannabis illegal again. But they’ll try anyway.

        1. I know your are and agree,trust me,they will have a stupid slogan.They may even work G.M.O’S into it.Maybe ‘Just say no to carbon”?

          1. Well, I for one would be perfectly ok if they stop exhaling, forever.

            1. Q) Tell me Mr. Prohibitionist, how many of you and your pals does it take to screw in a light bulb?

              A) None. Aren’t the liboralz always yipping and yapping about saving the environment, now they want us to burn more energy with lightbulbs? Isn’t that just like a liboral?

      2. I’m pretty sure I saw Melinda Haig romping with William Shatner.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SK0cUNMnMM

    2. The pot prohibitionists have already started the Stop Big Pot trope. They sponsor ads showing middle-aged men in suits as being behind pot legalization for reasons of greed and compare them to the greedy suits behind Big Tobacco. They apparently believe this will appeal to Millenials.

      1. Pot was cooler when it got you a jail sentence.

    3. It’s the bitches I mean mothers against everything fun that is the big problem. In Colorado they’ve tried to put such extreme regulations on edibles as to basically making them cost prohibitive. There is also the NIMBY folks who don’t want to have to see the shops. Basically the same old assholes that fuck up everything.

    4. This is directed at Justin Monticello, Nick Gillespie, and Matt Welch (all were tweeted about this yesterday).

      Sorry for jumping in here, but the narrative for this guy is complete BS. Since the last time I noted such (see below) the article has had a few corrections, which are not exactly minor either.

      A former Yippie who helped nominate a pig for president at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, DeAngelo has been an advocate for responsible cannabis consumption and distribution for decades.

      The links in the article on “Yippie” and “nominate a pig for president” do not go to anything about DeAngelo. They do not mention him in any way. He was TEN YEARS OLD during the 1968 Democratic National Convention/YIP Festival of Life. While he could have joined some incarnation of YIP any time after that, it is ridiculous to claim that he was in there with Hoffman, Krassner, Rubin and the rest, nominating Pigasus for president.

      1. I just got this response from Paul Krassner in email:
        “I don’t recall any such name, and certainly not a 10-year old, but I’ll ask a few Yippies.”

        So, there is an outside chance that maybe this Monticello fellow is on to something.

          1. And another thing, the only pig nominated at the Democrat Convention was Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr. Pigasus the pig was nominated at the Youth International Party ‘convention.’

  2. So is cannabis the undisputed coolest fucking ‘medicine’ ever, or what? Check that shop on the video. When does your local pharmacy ever offer you like 20 zillion colors and other choices for your diabetes medicine? Do you go into a lounge like environment, like a Barnes and Noble, sit on the sofa and try your new blood pressure meds out while sipping a latte?

    I’m sorry, but medical weed is bullshit. I’m not saying that it’s NOT a medicine and that it can’t help a lot with certain problems, or even save someone’s life in some situations. What I’m saying is that this guy is running a legal cannabis shop disguised as a ‘medical’ shop. No, if it was medicine, you would be standing in front of a counter talking to some boring asshole in a lab coat and you’d get your weed in a little white bag and you would get 2 choices, the name brand and the generic, which would be exactly the same only one is cheaper.

    Just fucking legalize it, period.

      1. Medical weed is like bitters. Remember bitters? Well, I know no one here is old enough to remember that, even old guys like myself. But it’s a good comparison, although not exact. Bitters came in a thousand different pretty bottles with all sorts of crazy names, claiming to cure almost anything. It was mostly alcohol, sometimes mixed with other drugs, like opiates, consumed mainly by alcoholic moms in the temperance movement.

        1. We play a game at the bar to see who’s stuck buying the next round. The loser chooses the drink. One guy was a little sore about losing and bought a round of Angostura.

          1. I’m sure it’s now devoid of any opiates or cocaine. Is it awful? I’ve never tried it. I bought a bottle of absinthe once. It wasn’t all that great.

            1. I didn’t know the history but I know bitters as any of a wide variety of herbal flavor bombs that are used to make cocktails.

              1. You should read the history, it’s quite interesting, full of snake oil salesmen, liars, and hypocrites. Sort of like congress.

              2. I heard I believe it was Bobby Flay say Bitters are to cocktails what vinegar is to cooking. Helps to balance out the flavor profile.

                1. Did Bobby Flay also talk about mango corn chipotle relish?

            2. Angostura bitters is great. I like a few dashes just in some water sometimes. Or a little bit mixed with gin. Absinthe is weird and very bitter.

        2. Toot toot tootsie, goodbye….

        3. Like… um… Campari and Angostura?

    1. this guy is running a legal cannabis shop disguised as a ‘medical’ shop

      I’m not disagreeing with this, BUT could the range of options have something to do with greater competition than exists among traditional medicines?

      1. I get what you’re saying. And one could make that argument. But I could also make the argument that it’s due to consumers already typically having a great array of choices. I mean, does one type of the ‘medicine’ claim to be better for arthritis while the other is best for a patient on chemo? I’m asking because I really don’t know. I just don’t think that ‘hey man, this one gives you a more heady buzz than that one’ is a good argument for a strictly medical product.

        And for the record, although you probably already realize this, there is no one on this planet who is more pro-legalization than I am. I would legalize all drugs right the fuck now if I could.

        1. There’s also the wink-wink, nudge-nudge element that seems to be a permanent fixture of pot culture – even in a supposedly medical setting.

        2. I don’t know either. I’m not sure how much competition there actually is.

        3. I think a lot of the variety is largely one kind of buzz or another. But there are some, “Charlottes Web” being one I’m familiar with, that do have specific therapeutic effects. Apparently that variety does amazing things for certain kinds of epilepsy without getting you terribly stoned. Some cannabinoids that aren’t what gets you high seem to have some useful properties.

        4. I think a lot of the variety is largely one kind of buzz or another. But there are some, “Charlottes Web” being one I’m familiar with, that do have specific therapeutic effects. Apparently that variety does amazing things for certain kinds of epilepsy without getting you terribly stoned. Some cannabinoids that aren’t what gets you high seem to have some useful properties.

    2. Now that the baby boomers have peak power in government, pretty much everyone in senior levels of government has tried marijuana. The only possible exceptions are Republicans who were hyper-religious in college and Democrats who hyper-earnest Marxists in college. Seriously, everybody smoked dope at one time or another in college back in the late ’60s and ’70s. Even engineers at conservative state universities in flyover country. My school would even screen Reefer Madness; not for drug education, but for the amusement of weed smokers. Some of us smoked a lot of marijuana back then.

      Seriously … any baby boomer who favors continued prohibition of marijuana is either a hypocrite, or one of the many evil beneficiaries of the WoD (e.g., cop, prison administrator, lawyer, bailbondsman, judge, prosecutor, substance abuse professional, etc. I’d include drug dealer in that list, but only the ones who favor the WoD.)

      1. I haven’t had any weed in almost 30 years. I liked it the first few times I tried it but then preferred alcohol over it and so never tried it again. I’ve thought of trying it again a few times. But it’s not legal anywhere near me except for DC and you can’t legally buy it there. Leave it to DC to really fuck something up. I think I just missed being a boomer by a few years. They call my gen something else, but I can’t remember what it is.

        1. They call my gen something else, but I can’t remember what it is.

          Senile? 😉

          1. NOT funny! (;

        2. I used to smoke a lot of it when I was younger but basically came down to either smoking pot or being able to breath so I choose the later. I went years without smoking it at all. Now I’ll occasionaly take a hit I’m talking once or twice a year if that.

        3. The Silent Generation 1923-1944

          1. I’m actually on this side of the boomers.

      2. Lord help us if this man will be our first lady…
        But hey! At least he “didn’t inhale”, right?
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeXGnSpjgNM

    3. It’s probably a real source of valuable medicine for some people and back door legal recreational weed for a lot more. That’s pretty obviously what it is in CA and some other states. But you are right. Just legalize and people can use it for whatever they want and don’t have to play silly games.

      1. This makes sense. I think you’ve nailed it.

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  4. “How the President can end pot prohibition without Congress”

    No, that would be bad. It’s against the Separation of powers amongst the different branches of government. We need to lock people up and detain hundreds of thousands of people because, hey, that’s the rules.

    Besides after withdrawing tens of thousands of troops from Iraq, ending DADT, and legalizing gay marriage Obama would probably fuck it up.

    1. Obama withdrew those troops under objection.

      Obama did not “legalize” gay marriage. did you fail civics?

      1. But he closed gitmo…. uh, never mind.

        1. Well, he had the right intentions.

          1. Not the correct response. Correct response is ‘but Republicans wouldn’t let him!’.

    2. Well, he could order the Justice Department to stop looking into weed cases and stop federal spending on that effort. Ignoring the laws against executive impoundment of funds never got him in any trouble before.

      1. There is also the threat against banks that make getting lines of credit or even having checking or savings accounts difficult if not impossible for pot shops. I’m suprised there hasn’t been more robberies related to owners having to safeguard there own cash.

        1. Barry’s army of regulators could turn that around overnight if that is what Barry wanted.

          1. What Barry wants is more power. Expect to see him in Brussels in 2017 or 2018.

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  6. This cat must have been a real go-getter since birth!

    Steve DeAngelo is no stranger to advocacy on behalf of unpopular positions. A former Yippie who helped nominate a pig for president at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, DeAngelo has been an advocate for responsible cannabis consumption and distribution for decades.

    According to Wikipedia, he was born June 12, 1958 which made him the ripe old age of 10 when Abbie Hoffman and Paul Krassner were parading Pigasus through the streets of Chicago.

    Also, per his Wikipedia bio, he began his activism during a July 4th DC smoke-in during some unnamed year. Since they began in 1970, two years after his helping nominate Pigasus in Chicago, one can assume that he was as well traveled as any royal of is time. Or one could actually do a little more research and find out when he actually got involved. Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana might provide a few clues.

    1. who helped nominate a pig for president at the 1968 Democratic National Convention

      And this is atypical how? They’ve been nominating pigs for as long as I can remember. This year will be no exception it appears.

      1. True your observations on the state of nominees, however some further evidence is needed to link Steve DeAngelo to the original crop of Youth International Party founders.

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