Rebecca DeKeuster’s first job at the Berkeley Patients Group in 2004 was selling medical marijuana to patients for $14 an hour.
Berkeley Patients Group (BPG), the city’s largest medical marijuana dispensary, owes more than $6.4 million in back taxes and interest, according to the state’s Board of Equalization (BOE). The BOE confirmed their original assessment of taxes at its meeting in Sacramento this week. Berkeleyside revealed the tax dispute earlier this month.
The state Board of Equalization is contending that the Berkeley Patients Group, one of the oldest and largest medical cannabis dispensaries in California, owes $6 million in back taxes, Berkeleyside has learned.
In a sign of the growing professionalization of the medical cannabis industry, Mark Rhoades and Ali Kashani, the owners of the Berkeley development company Citycentric Investments, have teamed up with Debby Goldsberry, a founder of the Berkeley Patients Group, to open a number of medical marijuana facilities around the East Bay.
Berkeley residents will vote on two ballot measures on Tuesday that could lead to a greatly expanded medical cannabis industry in the city – and hundreds of thousands of new dollars for the city’s coffers.