Steve DeAngelo to Leave Harborside
Steve DeAngelo, a cannabis industry leader and entrepreneur, announced his retirement from the company he founded.
DeAngelo is known as the cofounder of Harborside, Steep Hill Labs, the Arcview Group, and the NCIA.
He is the recipient of the 2015 High Times Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award and was named one of the most influential people and "gatekeeper of the industry" in 2015 by the International Business Times. In 2016 he was named one of the seven “Most Powerful People” in America's cannabis industry by Fortune. Most recently, he was honored with the Peter Tosh Equal Rights Award and inducted into the Marijuana Business Daily inaugural Hall of Fame.
In a three-minute statement posted at Facebook and Instagram via Radio Free Cannabis, DeAngelo explained:
"As of today, I have ended my leadership role and employment relationship with Harborside, Inc. Moving forward I will continue my work to expand the range of cannabis knowledge and freedom, with a focus on ESG (equity/sustainability/governance) opportunities. I wish Harborside the very best as it continues to promote wellness and destigmatize cannabis.
"Almost 14 year ago, a small band of fanatically dedicated cannabis activists launched Harborside Health Center. Our vision was to build a gold standard medical cannabis dispensary. The opportunity to make that vision real came in 2006 when the City of Oakland issued one of the first commercial cannabis licenses in the United States. Over time we achieved the original vision and much more. Harborside became the first cannabis company to feature tested cannabis, the first cannabis company to sell CBD-rich products and the first cannabis company to treat a child with incurable epilepsy. We were the first to welcome the news media into our shop and we were the subject of the first reality-TV show about cannabis.
"Our design ethic and service model became the role model for other dispensaries around the country. And when the federal government attacked the industry, we became its foremost defender. We won more awards than I can possibly remember and a complete list Harborside's other accomplishments would be far too long to include in this statement.
"Today, Harborside has grown from one non-profit retail establishment to many locations and added cultivation and branded products to its operations and become a for-profit publicly traded company. The credit for these accomplishments primarily go to my co-founders and to the many dedicated employees who bravely came to work even in the face of U.S. government threats to shut us down. Being their leader has been the greatest honor of my life and I thank each and every one of them for their hard work and the confidence they've had in me.
"It's been tremendously gratifying to watch many of my co-workers grow into new opportunities outside of Harborside and become major leaders of the legal industry. Now the time has come for me to join them. Moving forward, I will continue my advocacy work with the Last Prisoner Project and Radio Free Cannabis and I'll pursue business opportunities that are consistent with my values. No matter what, I will always do what I can to push forward the global frontiers of cannabis knowledge, cannabis culture and cannabis freedom. I will have no further immediate public comments. Always onward, forever free!"