Steve DeAngelo Has A Vision For Global Cannabis Legalization

In January, when Steve DeAngelo announced his departure from Harborside, the California cannabis dispensary he co-founded that has become a flagship of the industry, the sudden move turned more than a few heads.

In addition to Harborside, one of the first six licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in the country, DeAngelo is one of the founders of Steep Hill, the first analytic laboratory dedicated to testing commercial cannabis for purity and potency.

He believes the key to success is creating an inclusive industry where all are welcome, a value he said in a recent Zoom interview is characteristic of the sense of community engendered by the plant.

And while my activism has always been focused on cannabis primarily, it’s also encompassed what I believe are the lessons that cannabis teaches us,” says DeAngelo.

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, he traveled the world on a 200-day global tour in 2019 to learn about cannabis legalization issues in countries as diverse as Jamaica, Spain and Morocco.

After the country’s supreme court ruled in 2018 that prohibitions against the personal use and cultivation of marijuana are unconstitutional, lawmakers are currently in the process of drafting legislation that will create the largest legal cannabis market in the world.

“It’s a really exciting place to me because Mexico is legalizing at the federal level.

The excitement surrounding imminent cannabis legalization in Mexico is palpable, DeAngelo says.

Although the movement has yet to be given a name, DeAngelo says a cohesive structure of goals and values is taking shape among Mexico’s cannabis freedom fighters and their progressive allies.

Dubbed Plantón 420, the mini-community that DeAngelo describes as “a thing of remarkable beauty” includes a garden of cannabis plants growing as high as 12-feet tall.

The cannabis community’s activism is alive and well beyond 420 Plantón, as well.

True to his roots, DeAngelo’s passion for reform in Mexico and around the world stems from his belief in the healing and regenerative properties of the plant for both people and the planet.

Before DeAngelo’s visit to the community in March, a friend had delivered a bottle of CBD oil to a resident of the village named Florida and her teenage son Sebastian, who is living with a severe form of epilepsy.

Sebastian’s progress has inspired a village, and DeAngelo’s visit to La Pe coincided with the community’s first communal planting of cannabis, consisting of a small plot of both medicinal strains and industrial hemp.

He believes that the kind of relationship with cannabis that is being fostered by the residents of La Pe has the promise to bring prosperity to whole communities.

To help spread the gospel of ganja and share the gains made by activists around the world, DeAngelo is also devoting time to Radio Free Cannabis, a venture that invites cannabis journalists to report on the movement from locales far and wide.

When he parted ways with the cannabis dispensary he helped create earlier this year , many in the cannabis community viewed the change as the end of an era.

“I spent almost 15 years at Harborside.

I’ve documented stories about legalization and the cannabis industry in my home state of California, the nation’s largest legal marijuana market, and beyond, receiving input in the process from a host of sources including C-suite executives, congressmen, illicit cultivators, and sack slingers.

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