Harborside Health Center - University of Maryland School of Law

Report
Harborside Health Center
Steve DeAngelo
Executive Director
Harborside Health Center
CA Corporation (By laws require nonprofit operation)
 Licensed by City of Oakland
 110,000 registered patients
 100+ employees
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Living wage
Health insurance
401K
Generous PTO
Harborside Health Center
600-800 patients/day
 8000 square foot facility
 Emphasis on safety
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◦ Well-patrolled, lighted parking lot
◦ 28-camera surveillance system
◦ 5 safety staff on duty at all times
Harborside Health Center
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HHC organized as collective
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All patients must be legally qualified
All patients join collective, agree to rules
Each patient cross-authorizes cultivation
All medicine sourced from collective
members
Harborside Health Center
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Access restricted to qualified patients
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Patient identification examined twice
State-issued photo ID also required
All patient recommendations double verified
New patients interviewed, given orientation
session
Harborside Health Center
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250+ different types of cannabis medicine
every day
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Flowers
Concentrates
Extracts
Tinctures
Capsules
Sublingual sprays
Beverages/edibles
Topical ointments, salve, lotions, etc.
Harborside Health Center
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Like wine, cannabis has different varietals
◦ Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir
◦ Kush, Purple Erkle, Haze
Cannabis varietals produce different
effects
 Patients select those varieties most
effective
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Harborside Health Center
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All medicine tested by analytical
laboratory
◦ Tested for safety and potency
◦ Harmful contaminants screened out: AHPA
standard
◦ Patients provided cannabinoid profile pre-sale
◦ Unique batch # enables product tracking &
recall
Harborside Health Center
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HHC is a non-profit, community service
organization
◦ Net revenue returned to patients &
community via free patient services, charitable
donations & direct community outreach
Harborside Health Center
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Complete Holistic Health Care Clinic
◦ Deeply experienced, licensed practitioners
◦ Beautiful, dedicated healing space
◦ Integrated, multi-therapy approach
Harborside Health Center
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Care package program for low-income
patients
◦ Liberal needs test, 6 month qualification
◦ 1.5 g mid-grade medicine/week/$20 value
◦ Serves 1000 patients/week
Harborside Health Center
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Patient Activist Resource Center (PARC)
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Trains and encourages patient activism
Dedicated computer, phone, fax
Training materials and assistance
Free gram of medicine for each hour worked
Harborside Health Center
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Substance Mis-use Support Program
◦ Survey revealed 15% of patients wanted help
w/ alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, street
drugs
◦ Few who wanted help with cannabis
Harborside Health Center
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Trained & licensed addiction counselor
hired
◦ 1 on 1 counseling, face to face or online
◦ 3 different groups meet each week
◦ Efficacy of program is regularly surveyed
 Expect to publish 1st efficacy study w/ dramatic
results
Harborside Health Center
 1st
cannabis friendly substance program
◦ Anecdotal reports: addicts use cannabis to
withdraw
◦ Cannabis as the Gateway out of Addiction
◦ Provides solution for 12-step refugees
Harborside Health Center
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HHC provides patient education
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Grow your own medicine classes
Library of cannabis related books
Extensive stock of free pamphlets & booklets
ASA peer counseling for responsible,
compliant use
Harborside Health Center
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Charitable donations include:
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Americans for Safe Access
Students for a Sensible Drug Policy
Adopt-A-Family
Youth Athletic League
Police Bereavement Fund
United Seniors of Alameda County
Harborside Health Center
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Direct community outreach includes:
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Red Cross Blood Drives
National Night Out
Adopt-A-Spot
Winter Blanket and Warm Coat Collection
Holiday Toy Drive
Holiday Food Drive (won 1st prize for most
food with over 8,800 lbs.)
Harborside Health Center
HHC dedicated to innovation from start
 Illegal since 1937, cannabis locked into
primitivism
 Huge opportunities to help patients &
build business
 Apply modern tools & techniques to
cannabis
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Harborside Health Center
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HHC 1st & most important innovation: lab
testing
“If I am going to call it medicine, I need to know
what is in it, and I need to know that it is safe”
◦ 2006: all Bay Area labs refuse to test
◦ 2008: Steep Hill Lab formed.18 months of R&D
begin
◦ 2009: regular testing services launched late in
year
 For 1st time in 10,000 years, content is known 2 buyer
Harborside Health Center
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Early lab testing was costly and slow
◦ Over $100/test, 3-5 day turn around for
results
◦ Only most dedicated dispensaries would pay
or have ability to hold product till results
arrive
◦ Result: technology existed, but was underused
Harborside Health Center
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HHC and SHL launch new R&D program
◦ Develop lower cost technique, more rapid
results
 After 2 years of work, SHL intros QuantaCann
 Remote terminal placed in each dispensary
 Radically cuts both cost and turnaround time
 Much more medicine can now be tested
Harborside Health Center
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HHC also introduced CBD-rich cannabis
to the market
◦ CBD- excellent medical efficacy, no psychoactivity
◦ Testing reveals almost no CBD in our
medicine
 Deeply disturbing 2 learn of lack of CBD
 At same time CBD research is being released
Harborside Health Center
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CBD-rich medicine serves some patients
better
◦ Cannabis-naïve patients
◦ Pediatric cannabis patients
◦ Patients with grave illnesses that respond to
CBD
◦ Patients with emotional issues that could be
aggravated by THC-rich medicine
Harborside Health Center
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HHC initiates Project CBD
◦ Identify and collect CBD-rich genetic material
◦ Provide CBD-rich cuttings/seeds to trusted
growers
◦ Grow CBD-rich medicine for immediate
patient needs
◦ Produce & sell CBD-rich clones & seeds
Harborside Health Center
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Project CBD hugely successful
◦ Several CBD products on HHC shelves
everyday
 Tinctures & sprays, as well as flowers/concentrates
◦ Many other well-managed dispensaries now
offer
◦ Wave of articles and research generated
◦ 1000s of patients receive more effective
medicine
Harborside Health Center
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HHC approach has been hugely successful
◦ Inspired others to take wellness approach
◦ Possible to find some similar dispensaries
 But most are quite different, smaller
 Less services, fewer contribution to community
 More intoxication than wellness approach
Harborside Health Center
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What made the Harborside success
possible?
◦ Part was my personal vision, nurtured for
years
◦ Other critical part was City of Oakland
decision
 Regulate cannabis dispensaries in good faith
Harborside Health Center
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Prop 215 passed in 1996
◦ Called on CA Assembly to regulate
 Assembly fails to
◦ Gray area created: legal under state law, no
licensed system of distribution
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1998: unlicensed dispensaries open to
serve patient needs, mostly in Bay Area
Harborside Health Center
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Earliest dispensaries opened by activists
◦ Long on good intention, short on start up
capital and business experience
◦ Facilities reflected their background
◦ No staff training, no build out, no POS, no
security
Harborside Health Center
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Despite disadvantages, activist
dispensaries thrive
◦ 1000s of patients, millions of dollars
 That amount of money in gray area attracts people
comfortable working in gray areas
◦ People with different backgrounds open
 Porn, gambling, dealers of illicit substances
Harborside Health Center
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Facilities of thug dispensaries reflected
operators background and priorities
◦ Fortresses with barbed wire, bullet-proof
glass
◦ Intimidating armed guards
◦ Patients expected to make selection quickly
and get out with as few questions as possible
Harborside Health Center
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2004: 14 unlicensed dispensaries cluster in
Oakland
◦ Combination of activist and thug dispensaries
◦ Problems begin: cluster causes parking problems
and stiff competition for patients
 Cars double-parked; neon cannabis signs sprout up touts
on the street with coupons
 Students from nearby charter school handed leaflets
◦ Facilities themselves often unsafe, fail to meet city
req
 One notorious spot called the Third Floor could only be
accessed by a scary climb up narrow rickety stairways,
clearly impossible for anybody seriously ill to navigate
Harborside Health Center
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City of Oakland responded w/ 1st dispensary
licensing
◦ Good faith attempt: balance patient & community
◦ # of dispensaries reduced to 4, w/ rigorous
licensing
◦ 1000 feet from sensitive sites & residential zones
◦ No clustering of dispensaries, must meet parking
req
◦ Signage restricted to unlighted 20 square feet
◦ All facilities strictly required to meet fire & safety
req
Harborside Health Center
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Most important: competitive RFP process
to award
◦ Business, security, training, neighborhood
relations plans required
◦ Proof of adequate and legitimate capitalization
◦ Resume of appropriate experience
◦ Criminal background check
◦ Test of knowledge of medical cannabis law
◦ Personal interview with City Manager
Harborside Health Center
Very rigorous and competitive process
 4 permits awarded in initial 2004 round
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◦ 2 of initial 4 permits revoked in the first year
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HHC competed with 14 other candidates
◦ Was awarded one of two vacant permits
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HHC vision developed over course of many years
◦ Vision of comprehensive holistic health center
◦ Beautifully built out and decorated and maintained
◦ Place that could provide education and community
 As well as dispensing cannabis medicine
◦ A place that would promote cannabis as a wellness product,
instead of an intoxicant
◦ An institution that would demonstrate cannabis could be
distributed in way that brings benefits to our community, not
harms
Harborside Health Center
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Oakland regulatory system provided
fertile ground
◦ I was confident we could win competitive
process
◦ License provided confidence to raise sufficient
funds Cap on # of dispensaries guaranteed
market
◦ Good faith posture of city provided
confidence glitches could be worked out
Harborside Health Center
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Key aspects of Oakland’s regulation:
◦ Competitive RFP process
◦ Reasonable cap on # of dispensaries
◦ Rigorous investigation of personal
qualifications
◦ Proximity limits from sensitive sites and
dispensaries
Harborside Health Center
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Oakland regulation gave me confidence:
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To raise $400,000+ in start up captital
To commit to $16,000 in monthly rent
And a payroll many multiples as large
It allowed me to recruit and pay well qualified
pros
◦ & continue to re-invest into HHC
Harborside Health Center
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Oakland’s good faith approach gave it
◦ The nations model dispensary in Harborside
◦ And 3 other smaller and less ambitious
facilities
 That also have excellent relations with the city
◦ Completely solved problems of unlicensed
spots
◦ Even led to an important new source of
revenue
Harborside Health Center
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In 2009 I approached Oakland’s other
licensees
◦ Proposed local tax on cannabis sales, all
agreed
◦ To help the City, demonstrate our
commitment
 Voters of Oakland approved 5% tax on cannabis
 HHC now one of Oakland’s top ten tax payers
Harborside Health Center
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Oakland regs are win-win for patients and
community
◦ Patients- safer more pro managed
dispensaries
◦ Citizens- cluster problems solved, proximity
respected
◦ Law Enforcement crime down in dispensary
neighborhoods
◦ Treasury- almost $2 million/year additional
revenue
Harborside Health Center
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Oakland contrasts with rest of stateespecially LA
◦ Oakland acted early, before many unlicensed
opened
◦ Oakland welcomed dispensaries, did not try
to ban
◦ Involved stakeholders in developing
regulations
◦ Objective was always to balance needs
Harborside Health Center
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In Los Angeles, San Jose & many other parts
of state
◦ Has been a complete failure (refusal?) to regulate
◦ To this day, there is no lic & reg of dispensaries
 Lack of regulation deters reputable dispensary
operators & investments
 Invites entry by thuggish, gray market operators
 Even organized crime
◦ 100s of dispensaries all over LA and San Jose
 Inappropriate locations, unknown operators
Harborside Health Center
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Intense competition + lack of regulation
leads to
◦ Same kind of problems in early Oakland
 & even worse excesses:
 ID not rigorously checked, sales made to unqualified
 No limits on patient purchases
 Cannabis purchased illegally; sent out of state
Harborside Health Center
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These problems direct consequence lack of
regulation
◦ None exist in Oakland or Berkeley or SF, all
regulated
◦ Lack of regs also reduces quality of patient care
◦ Unrestrained competition sparks race to the
bottom
◦ Not enough market share to provide patient
services
 Or build out their facility, lab test medicine, or security
Harborside Health Center
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Refusal to regulate driven by opposition
to 215
◦ Often led by law enforcement or law
enforcement organizations
◦ Or City Attorneys or District Attorneys who
fear validating medical cannabis by licensing it
Harborside Health Center
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Refusal has taken different forms in
different cities
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Outright bans on dispensaries
Moratoriums leaving dispensaries unregulated
Unattainable proximity restrictions
Poison pill provisions
Has in common lack of a good faith effort
that recognizes legitimate needs of
patients
Harborside Health Center
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Refusal to regulate hurts whole community
◦ Prevents the establishment of facilities like HHC
 Where medicine is tested, and staff background checked,
taxes are paid, police burden reduced
◦ Invites thuggish, gray market operators into
market
◦ Leads to inappropriate locations & illegal
operation
◦ Prevents collection of desperately needed tax
revenue
Harborside Health Center
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Experience of Oakland & HHC
demonstrates
◦ Effective, reasonable regulation benefits all
◦ Provides patients safer meds, higher standard of
care
◦ Appropriately protects sensitive sites
◦ Encourages good community relations
◦ Reduces the burden on law enforcement
◦ Increases safety of neighborhoods w/ dispensaries
◦ Offers great model for future regulations
Harborside Health Center
Steve DeAngelo
Executive Director

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