Harborside's Steve DeAngelo Stands Up For The Industry

Harborside Inc. (CSE: HBOR) Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus Steve DeAngelo sat down with the Green Market Report’s Editor-in-Chief Debra Borchardt to discuss Harborside becoming a publicly traded company.

GMR Debra Borchardt

The company just went public this week on the Canadian stock exchange and it must be just super exciting because you are a pioneer in the industry.

Steve DeAngelo, Co-Founder Harborside Inc.

Yeah, it’s incredibly exciting. Harborside was one of the first six licensed cannabis businesses in the United States, that’s back in 2006. Today we’re growing to be seven dispensary’s, 200,000 square feet of grow space, 250 employees, and we’ve launched two brands that we’re pushing out into the marketplace.

GMR

You have about a 3% market share in California. What are your plans to increase that?

Steve DeAngelo

So two ways basically. Number one, we’re going to continue to increase our retail footprint. And two, we have developed these two brands, the Key brand, and the Harborside brand and we offer vape pens, we offer flowers, we offer edibles, a line of products in both of those two brands. And so, we’re in a hundred dispensaries now. We’ll be in three or four hundred dispensaries within several months.

GMR

What makes Harborside so special because there are so many dispensaries competing for business right now. Why is a consumer going to go in your door versus another door?

Steve DeAngelo

Well, it’s a values-based proposition. Harborside has a well-earned reputation for not just being after our own financial gain but also representing values. And so, we’re very committed to the values of diversity and building a cannabis industry that is diverse. We were very committed to the values of fairness and economic justice and we’re very committed to the values of sustainability and you can see those values in everything we do

GMR

You really have a reputation as caring for the customer, caring for the patient, because that’s really was where you guys made your name was caring so much for the patients that were coming to you.

Steve DeAngelo

You know, Harborside was a medical cannabis dispensary for most of our life. And so, we had to be very, very careful to make sure that we gave not just customer service but also patient care. And that has developed an ethic in our culture of really engaging with everybody who comes through our door. We like to say that we want everybody to come out of Harborside feeling better than they came in.

GMR

So let’s talk about the elephant in the room, which is that 280E case. We know you guys have been fighting and really fighting it for the whole industry. If that judgment goes against you, what amount of money do you expect you would have to pay and is that money already set aside?

Steve DeAngelo

The maximum amount of money that we could be liable to the IRS has already been accounted for and is available as needed but this is a long ongoing struggle. We’ve been in this litigation for about 10 years now. It’s not going to end for at least several more years. We did have an adverse ruling on the underlying case at the trial court but we won on the penalties phase and we’re now appealing to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the most favorable court in the country on cannabis. There’s also legislation pending in the Congress, which is going to resolve the 280E situation. So, it’s far from over. Harborside will keep doing what we always do. We stand up for the industry, we stand up for what we think is right, and we’ll keep on doing that until we either win the case or have exhausted all legal avenues.

GMR

A lot of people may not know that you were part of the Yippies, that you have a storied history associated with this plant. Did you ever in your wildest imagination think that this was going to happen? Did you think it was going to happen sooner or what has been the biggest surprise to you with this?

Steve DeAngelo

There has never been any doubt in my mind that we would see a respected, honored place for cannabis in our society because of the inherent properties of the plant, its value and its safety just make it necessary over time. What has surprised me and still surprises me is how long that it’s taking us to get there.

GMR

You have been working on this for many years and I’m so thrilled that you took the time to talk to us at the Green Market Report.

Video Staff

Video Staff


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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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