Steve DeAngelo

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Steve DeAngelo
Portrait of Steve DeAngelo
Stephen DeAngelo

(1958-06-12) June 12, 1958 (age 61)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Alma materUniversity of Maryland
OccupationChairman Emeritus of Harborside, Co-Founder of Harborside, Social Activist, Author, Professional Speaker, Visionary and Television Personality.
Awards2015 High Times Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016 Named one of the seven “Most Powerful People” in America’s cannabis industry by Fortune, 2017 Best Dispensary in California by SF Chronicle

Steve DeAngelo (born June 12, 1958 at 4:20 PM), is a cannabis rights activist and advocate for cannabis reform in the United States. He is the Co-Founder and he currently serves as Chairman Emeritus of Harborside, a vertically integrated California cannabis company, with stores in Oakland and San Jose, California. He co-founded several iconic cannabis businesses and organizations: Harborside, one of the first six dispensaries licensed in the US; [1] Steep Hill lab, the first dedicated cannabis laboratory; the Arc View Group, the first cannabis investment firm; and the National Cannabis Industry Association, the industry’s first trade association. DeAngelo and Harborside were the subject of the Discovery Channel documentary series Weed Wars, and were also featured on the premiere episode of CNN's Inside Man with Morgan Spurlock.[2] In June 2015, DeAngelo was awarded the High Times Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition for his four decades of activism in the cannabis reform movement.[3][4]. In March 2019, he delivered a 45 minute featured session at the SXSW inaugural Canna-Business Track. In May 2019, Harborside executed a reverse takeover with Lineage Grow Company adding two dispensaries in prominent cities in Oregon, additional cultivation, distribution and retail assets to its portfolio, and an expected public listing on the CSE. The Company has entered into a purchase agreement with Walnut Oaks, LLC d/b/a Agris Farms and has signed a binding letter of intent to acquire Lucrum Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a LUX. On June 10, 2019, Harborside (HBOR) was listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Long history[edit]

Steve DeAngelo is a national cannabis activist, entrepreneur, educator and thought leader who has been on the forefront of cannabis legalization efforts for more than four decades. He is the Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Oakland-based Harborside, which he established with his life partner, Yolanda Felix, in 2006 and has since grown to become the largest medical cannabis dispensary in the United States.

Harborside Inc. is one of the oldest and most respected cannabis retailers in the world, operating two of the major dispensaries in the Bay Area in Oakland and San Jose and has played an instrumental role in making cannabis safe and accessible to a broad and diverse community of California consumers. Harborside has more than 300,000 registered patients and was among the first dispensaries in the country to treat children with Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy. Rooted in DeAngelo’s belief that cannabis use should be wellness-centric, Harborside was one of the first cannabis businesses in the nation to support comprehensive cannabis education for seniors, veterans and families with severely ill children. Harborside continues to set the industry gold standard and is a leading advocate for diversity, environmental sustainability and economic justice in the cannabis sector. As part of DeAngelo’s push to foster environmentally sound agriculture practices practices, Harborside in 2014 launched its line of SunGrown cannabis products aimed at minimizing electricity consumption and promoting sustainable cannabis cultivation and production processes. In 2016, the holding company Flrish Inc, purchased an agricultural site in Salinas now called Harborside Farms, that grows cannabis plants for the Harborside dispensaries as well as others.

DeAngelo’s path to becoming a world-renown cannabis business mogul began in his youth. Deeply influenced by his parents’ involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, he formed his political identity at a young age. He protested the atrocities of the Vietnam War and joined the peace movement in the ’70s. At the age of 16, DeAngelo began leading the charge against cannabis prohibition. Starting in 1974, he became the lead organizer of the annual Yippie Fourth of July Smoke-In in Washington D.C., a position he held for a decade. And in 1998, he spearheaded efforts to legalize medical cannabis through Initiative 59 in his hometown of D.C.

Although the ballot initiative was approved by 69 percent of voters and carried every precinct, Congress passed an amendment to block its implementation. Heartbroken, DeAngelo moved to California that year and has since become a distinguished member of the burgeoning cannabis business community in this country and around the globe.

In 2008 after establishing Harborside, DeAngelo co-founded the first commercial cannabis lab in the country, Steep Hill Labs, to support a socially responsible industry and ensure cannabis products comply with public safety standards. The company has grown to become a world leader in cannabis science and technology with extensive expertise in lab testing, remote testing, genetics, research and development, and intellectual property licensing. Steep Hill Labs has also positioned itself as a leading consultant to legislators and regulators around the world seeking to establish a unified set of industry best practices. With a keen understanding of the industry’s direction and future growth potential, DeAngelo decided in 2010 it was time to develop the next wave of American cannabis entrepreneurs. He co-founded The Arcview Group, a cannabis angel investment network and research firm dedicated to galvanizing progressive drug policy reform by empowering a responsible, profitable industry. The Arcview Angel Investor Network connects the brightest and most motivated entrepreneurs with vetted investors. The network includes more than 600 accredited investors, and has raised at least $150 million for 160 cannabis-related companies to date.

DeAngelo was named one of the seven “most powerful people” in America’s cannabis industry by Fortune in 2016, a “gatekeeper” of the cannabis industry in 2015 by the International Business Times, and one of the most influential people in the cannabis industry in 2014 by Cannabis Business Executive. Dubbed "Father of the Legal Cannabis Industry"; by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown Jr., DeAngelo has been an industry pioneer and lifelong advocate for legalization. He has received many awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 from High Times magazine.

His acclaimed book, “The Cannabis Manifesto: A New Paradigm for Wellness,” is a compelling account of DeAngelo’s personal journey with cannabis that outlines numerous solid arguments for legalization while presenting research-backed benefits of the plant. In the first week of the book's release, it became the number one best seller in the Health and Wellness category on Amazon. The book’s guiding statement: “Cannabis is not harmful, but prohibition is.” DeAngelo’s trailblazing activism and his creation of a model medical cannabis dispensary that sets best practices for an entire industry has made him one of the world’s foremost cannabis entrepreneurs and thought leaders.


Steve DeAngelo began his career in activism in Washington, DC. After dropping out of school,[5] he joined the Youth International Party where he organized July 4 smoke-ins to protest marijuana prohibition.[6][7] After reading The Emperor Wears No Clothes, he partnered with author and activist Jack Herer on a national hemp tour to promote hemp and legal marijuana.[8] DeAngelo launched the marketing, lobbying, and consulting firm CannaBe in California[9] after co-founding Harborside Health Center in 2006.[10] He recently founded The Last Prisoner Project, vowing not to stop until every last cannabis prisoner is freed.

Media overview[edit]

In the last several years, Stephen DeAngelo and Harborside, as well as Steep Hill Labs, have been featured by national and international media outlets. Below is a partial list of some of the media highlights.

September 11, 2009 -Fortune Magazine (cover story)

April 23, 2010- The New York Times

October 22, 2010- Washington Post Magazine (cover story)

March 21, 2013 -Fortune Magazine (cover story)

June 15, 2013-International Business Times

June 15, 2018- World Cannabis Congress

September 2018-Green Flower Media- Ask Steve Show

November 2018- Simulations Series

National TV[edit]

Star of “Weed Wars” on The Discovery Channel

NBC Nightly News

CNN – Morgan Spurlock’s “Inside Man” series

CNN – Dr. Sanja Gupta’s “Weed” documentary

PBS Peter Sagal’s “Constitution” series

Fox Business News


Bloomberg News


National Geographic

The History Channel

KRON – Ch. 4 San Francisco

ABC - KGO 7 San Francisco

CBS – KPIX 5 San Francisco

NBC - Bay Area 11 San Francisco

FOX - KTVU Ch. 2 Oakland

International TV[edit]

Univision Ahora TV

Germany’s NRD

France 2

Mediaset Italia (Italy)

Scandinavia Financial Times

Le Monde News (France)

BBC News (UK)

Independent Television News (UK)

Australian Daily Standard (Australia)

NHK World (Japan)

Germany - Focus Magazine

TV Globo (Brazil)

Finland Documentary

Al Jazeera America

TV4 (Sweden)


High Times Magazine

The Los Angeles Times (cover story)

The New York Times (cover story)

The Times of London

The Wall Street Journal

Rolling Stone

Fortune Magazine (cover story)

Forbes Magazine


The Washington Post

The Washington Post Magazine (cover)

Associated Press

Bloomberg Businessweek

MarketWatch, aka SmartMoney

The San Francisco Chronicle (front page)

The San Francisco Weekly

East Bay Times, formerly The Oakland Tribune

The San Jose Mercury News

California Planning & Development Report

Washington Monthly

Men’s Health Magazine


Voice of America

Marketplace, National Public Radio

The California Report, KQED News-National Public Radio

Doctor Radio, New York University Langone Medical Center

The Kojo Nnamdi Show

The Diane Rehm Show

KSFR - New Mexico PBS

KQED Science, National Public Radio

Paula Gloria Show

The Visionary Activist Show, KPFA Pacifica

Drug Truth Network, KPFT Pacifica


Huffington Post



The Daily Beast

The CBD[11]

Light Culture Podcast[12]


  • DeAngelo, Steve (2015). "The Cannabis Manifesto: A New Paradigm for Wellness". North Atlantic Books. p. 230. Missing or empty |url= (help)


  1. ^ McKinley, Jesse. "Don't Call It 'Pot' in This Circle; It's a Profession". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  2. ^ Lowry, Brian. "Review: 'Inside Man'". Variety. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  3. ^ Downs, David. "California's biggest marijuana festival—the High Times Cannabis Cup — is ready to roll". SF Gate. San Francisco Chronicle blog. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  4. ^ "Steve DeAngelo to be Honored at Nor Cal Cannabis Cup". Stuff Stoners Like. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  5. ^ Harkinson, Josh. "Adventures of a Pot Pioneer". Mother Jones. Mother Jones. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  6. ^ Lee, Martin A. (August 13, 2013). Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuna. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 354. ISBN 978-1439102619.
  7. ^ Steve DeAngelo (2015). "The Cannabis Manifesto: A New Paradigm for Wellness". North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA.
  8. ^ Hecht, Peter (April 7, 2014). Weed Land: Inside America's Marijuana Epicenter and How Pot Went Legit. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-0520275430.
  9. ^ McKinley, Jesse. "Don't Call It 'Pot' in This Circle; It's a Profession". The New York Times. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  10. ^ Romney, Lee. "Oakland protests U.S. attorney's crackdown on large medical marijuana dispensary". The Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  11. ^ "Steve DeAngelo". The Cannabis Business Directory. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  12. ^ "Steve DeAngelo". Burb Light Culture Podcast. Retrieved May 20, 2019.