Federal laws are a funny thing, aren’t they? They can make a business operating legally on the state level – one that pays taxes and enormous fees just to operate at all – close down with just a threatening letter. Hell, they can even seize said business’ facility, which is what the US Department of Justice is looking to do for Shambhala Healing Center.
As the Ex reports, Northern California US Attorney Melinda Haag filed a forfeiture proceeding just last week against 2441 Mission St. The commercial building has housed the Shambhala Healing Center since 2011, where it has been doing business on and off for over two years.
Shambhala Healing Center previously shut down last year due to a letter sent to their landlord from Haag. The center, along with eight other facilities, were threatened with stiff prison sentences and (you guessed it) forfeiture proceedings if they weren’t shut down. Shambhala Healing Center resumed operations after the property owners at 2441 Mission St. attempted to evict them. The center had a long-term lease and wasn’t violating any state or local laws, thus the hiatus was short-lived.
Haag’s forfeiture proceeding marks the first of its kind in SF and is completely legal. However contradictory it may sound, the federal government is able to seize property and cash at any time if those items were acquired through the sale of illegal drugs. No matter how many laws are passed in the state of California, they’re still simply state laws and medical marijuana is still a banned substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.