Melinda Haag, a Barack Obama appointee, is cracking down on marijuana dispensaries. Photo via USDOJ

It survived a raid by the DEA in 2005, and now it looks like HopeNet, a medical marijuana dispensary in SoMa, will try to survive an attack from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

Haag sent HopeNet, at 223 9th St. between Howard and Folsom streets, a cease-and-desist letter, according to a post on the dispensary’s website.

An employee at the shop confirmed the contents of this post:

After operating in the community for over eight years, serving members of our cooperative through good times and bad, and helping to keep the neighborhood safe; our landlord received a letter from the U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag’s office. An abridged version of the letter says that HopeNet is too close to a school. Within a thousand feet of Presidio Knolls to be exact. Which is news to HopeNet and the City of San Francisco, as Presidio Knolls moved into the neighborhood three years ago without an inkling to their existence since.

We are trying to reach HopeNet’s chief operator, Catherine Smith, and will update this post when we hear back back from her.

In September 2011, Haag and other U.S. attorneys began sending cease-and-desist letters to landlords who rent to medical marijuana dispensaries. The technique seems to be working, as two dispensaries in the Mission, Medithrive and Mr. Nice Guy, closed last year. At least one more, the Shambhala Healing Center, also received a letter, in February.

Haag told KQED that she is closing down dispensaries that are close to schools and parks.


Mr Nice Guy, 174 Valencia St.
Divinity Tree Wellness Co-op, 958 Geary St.
Medithrive, 1933 Mission St.
Market Street Collective, 1884 Market St.
Sanctuary, 669 O’Farrell St.

(Source: SF Examiner)

Received cease-and-desist letter but still open:

Shambhala Healing Center, 2441 Mission St.
HopeNet, 223 Ninth St.

Approved by the city and waiting to open:

Herbal Mission, 3139 Mission St. (approved June 2011)
The Green Cross, 4218 Mission St.
Mission Organic Center, 5258 Mission St.
TreeMed, 5234 Mission St.

Awaiting approval:

Morado Collective, 2520 Mission St.

Follow Us

Rigoberto Hernandez

Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

Leave a comment

Please keep your comments short and civil. We will zap comments that fail to adhere to these short and very easy-to-follow rules.

Your email address will not be published.