Local business

Berkeley cannabis dispensary looking to expand

Berkeley Patients Group, the city’s largest marijuana dispensary, not only hopes to go into the large-scale growing business in Berkeley, but in Oakland as well.

Debby Goldsberry, a founder of BPG, told the Associated Press that the group will apply to become an industrial grower in Oakland, which started accepting permits Monday for the creation of four large-scale cannabis grow sites. The cost of the permit will be $211,000.

The Berkeley Patients Group is expected to also apply to operate one of Berkeley’s  six new 30,000 square feet grow sites just approved by voters. The non-profit group also acts as paid consultants to the Northeast Patients Group, which recently received permits to open four medical marijuana distributaries in Maine.

Goldsberry told the AP that two-thirds of the clients coming to Berkeley Patients Group on San Pablo Avenue live in Oakland. That suggests there is a need for more medical marijuana facilities.

“As an Oakland resident, I’m very interested in expanding any industry that can help our city,” Goldsberry told the Associated Press.

As medical marijuana receives more acceptance around the United States and more cities look to cannabis sales for tax revenue, the BPD, one of the oldest and most experienced organizations of its kind, appears to be leveraging its expertise. It was founded in 1999 and is a multi-million dollar business serving thousands of patients each year.

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  • laura menard

    Berkeleyside should consider talking to the ex-employee of BPG protesting out in front of San Pablo Ave. dispensary this weekend. According to him, the founders of BPG have been bought out by CannaBiz investors whose primary interest is profits not patients.

    As a carepartner to my brother whose neurologist recommends cannabis we are concerned about how patients factor into the equation as the CannaBiz industry transforms the culture of med pot. I attended the recent meeting of the city’s Medical Marijuana Commission speaking on these issues; access, affordability, quality controls, dosage information on edibles and how to develop the programs criteria for low income disabled folks to obtain free or discounted medicine. Remember that was the original intent of Prop 215.

    Affordability and proper care are in jeopardy. Contrary to voters beliefs the recently passed measures do not protect the rights of low income disabled folks. Here is the language from the measure:
    “and may include, but shall not be limited to, whether proposed facilities will provide a percentage of all usable product cultivated at no cost to very low income patients “.

    The meeting was fascinating, and I recommend Berkeleyside and local reporters cover the final meeting Dec 16 of the MM commission which will be reconfigured under the provisions of the new ordinance passed in Nov. Commissioner Mark Rhoades, a well known developer, put a motion forward for the Dec 16 agenda to draft a set of recommendations for the city attorney and city officials to consider should federal law enforcement interfere with Berkeley cultivators operations, apparently Oakland city hall has already been contracted by the feds.

    The recent meeting was quite interesting in many ways since the room was packed with various applicants tracking the progress of the commission’s recommendations for the city application process. Everyone had their angle attempting to influence the commission, who many are industry insiders themselves. The self identified African American collective Forty Acres operating above the Albatross on San Pablo argued that the application process should not include the requirement that applicants disclose criminal records. The commission decided to recommend to city council that anyone who has not committed a felony offense in the last 10 years was exempt from reporting. One of the commissioners repeatedly stated that they would not want to discourage “role models” in CannaBiz.

    As a caregiver (non- user) I would very much like to find a collective true to the mission and intent of Prop 215, I am willing to do volunteer work in exchange. I do not want anything to do with the politics of greed and consumption and would like to see my brother treated with respect and concern. If you are such an organization please contact me.

  • laura menard

    edit- “contracted by the feds” should be contacted by the feds

    And “influence the commission” should be commissioners, many of whom are industry insiders themselves.

    As a person with mild dyslexia, typing in the box is confusing, sorry