Twelve organizations have submitted applications to open a fourth medical cannabis dispensary in Berkeley, according to city officials, but the public won’t know who they are for 45 days.
Update 11/19/14: The City Council voted on Nov. 18 to refer this item to the Planning Commission for further review.
Despite the recent federal crackdown on medical cannabis operations, the Berkeley City Council will discuss tonight expanding the number of dispensaries from three to four – and maybe to six – and refine the rules regarding collectives.
The city of Berkeley filed a claim Wednesday to stop the federal government’s attempts to shut down Berkeley Patients Group, the city’s largest medical cannabis dispensary.
The state Board of Equalization and Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) have worked out a compromise that reduces the dispensary’s delinquent tax bill from $7.5 million to $49,500.
The Berkeley City Council has delayed discussion on opening a fourth medical cannabis dispensary since the current federal attitude toward dispensaries has made it all but impossible to site them in Berkeley.
Update 9:00 p.m.: US Attorney Melinda Haag told the Oakland Tribune in a prepared statement that “we continue to take a measured approach and have only pursued asset forfeiture actions with respect to marijuana retail sales operations very near schools, parks or playgrounds, at the request of local law enforcement, or in one case, because of the sheer size of its distribution operations.”
[Article is updated at the bottom.]
The mood was somber Monday at Berkeley Patients Group as the 12-and-a-half-year old cannabis dispensary got ready to shut its doors.
Last Tuesday afternoon, around 1:30pm, Rebecca, who describes herself as a “50ish” recent transplant from Los Angeles, headed over to the Berkeley Patients Group at 2747 San Pablo Avenue. For the past six months, ever since she moved north, Rebecca has gone to the medical cannabis dispensary once a month to get marijuana to help her with her insomnia brought on by menopause.
Berkeley Patients Group, which had declined for weeks to confirm or deny that the federal government had told its landlord it had to move, sent out an email Thursday night saying it was not going out of business.
Medical cannabis patients in Berkeley will have a more difficult time getting marijuana after Berkeley Patient’s Group shuts down on May 1.
The owner of the building that houses the Berkeley Patients Group has put it up for sale, further fueling whispers that the federal government sent a letter ordering the cannabis dispensary to shut down.