Feds Close ‘Model’ San Francisco Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Two San Francisco medical cannabis dispensaries praised as models for their industry will close under federal Justice Department pressure at the end of business today.

HopeNet, on Ninth Street in South of Market, and the Vapor Room, on Haight Street in the Lower Haight, will be the seventh and eighth San Francisco dispensaries to close under federal pressure since a coordinated statewide crackdown began last fall.

Their respective landlords received letters in the spring from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag that warned of property seizures and stiff prison sentences if the pot clubs did not depart.

“It’s sad,” said Catherine Smith, HopeNet’s executive director.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. Local Justice Department officials seldom comment on the crackdown, but they have said in the past that only dispensaries located near schools, parks or other places where children congregate are targeted for closure.

Marijuana advocates have criticized Haag and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for shuttering dispensaries that appear to be abiding by state and local laws. As recently as June, Holder told Congress that only dispensaries breaking state law would face federal prosecution.

– Read the entire article at The San Francisco Examiner.