Steve DeAngelo in Morocco

Steve's Bio

Steve DeAngelo is a globally recognized cannabis thought leader, expert & speaker who was dubbed “the father of the legal cannabis industry” by former Mayor of San Francisco & Speaker of the California Assembly Willie Brown. As a lifelong activist, author, educator and entrepreneur, he has spent more than four decades on the front lines of the cannabis freedom movement. His most notable business achievements include co-founding Harborside — one of the first six dispensaries licensed In the United States; the ArcView Group, the first dedicated cannabis angel investment network; and Steep Hill Labs, the first cannabis testing facility. Most recently, in 2019 Steve was the Founder of The Last Prisoner Project, which has grown into one of the most successful advocacy organizations in the movement, including the release of several prisoners serving life sentences.

Steve is the author of ‘The Cannabis Manifesto’ and originator of the Wellness Theory of understanding cannabis. He played a key role in the passage of Initiative 59, Washington DC’s medical cannabis law; the passage of Prop 64, California’s adult-use law; and successfully defended multiple legal attempts by US law enforcement agencies to shutter the doors of Harborside.  His media projects include the starring role in ‘Weed Wars’, the first cannabis-oriented reality TV show, produced by the Discovery Channel in 2011;  the starring role in the Ask Steve series, produced; and extensive appearances on most major media outlets including CNN, FOX, MSNBC, CNBC, and The New York Times as well as extensive global media including The London Times, Germany’s Der Spiegel, Brazil’s El Global,  Italy’s Rai One, France’s La Monde and others.

Steve has received dozens of awards for his advocacy and business achivements, including the High Times Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award and the Peter Tosh Equal Rights Award. He was named one of the most influential people and “gatekeeper of the industry” in 2015 by the International Business Times, and one of the seven “Most Powerful People” in the industry by Fortune magazine. Most recently, he was honored with the Peter Tosh Equal Rights Award and became one of first two inductees into the Marijuana Business Daily Hall of Fame.

Steve’s mission is to bring the cannabis plant and cannabis freedom to every nation and every person on the planet. As Founder of the Last Prisoner Project (2019), he will not stop until the last cannabis prisoner is free. As host of the Radio Free Cannabis podcast-launched in 2020, his role as an activist seeking global unity for equal justice, advocating for human rights around the world, for cannabis legalization across planet earth, and the end of criminalizing medicinal plants worldwide, continues.

As Covered By

Steve's Timeline



Steve Becomes the lead organizer of the annual Yippie Fourth of July Smoke-In in Washington D.C for 10 years.


Steve spearheads efforts to legalize medical cannabis through Initiative 59 in his hometown of D.C.


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.


2010, 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 network includes more than 600 accredited investors, and has raised at least $150 million for 160 cannabis-related companies to date.


2014, Declared one of the most influential people in the cannabis industry in 2014 by Cannabis Business Executive.


2015, Called a “gatekeeper” of the cannabis industry in 2015 by the International Business Times


2016, named one of the seven “most powerful people” in America’s cannabis industry by Fortune


2017, Cannabis Business Summit, the most influential cannabis trade show in the U.S., hosted in the epicenter of the cannabis movement, by the industry’s only national trade association, the Cannabis Business Summit & Expo is an award-winning event that brings together the industry’s brightest minds.


2018, Over 40+ speaking events to date.


Many projects on the go and will be announced in 2020.