The Berkeley Patients Group is one of the oldest and most respected medical marijuana dispensaries in the nation. Ninjasmoker and I were lucky enough to meet one of the founders at the Students for Sensible Drug Policy conference in Denver earlier this year. It seemed to us that the Berkeley Patients Group pursued a ‘patients above all else’ approach, which is something that a lot of other dispensaries don’t do.
It’s a sad day, as it’s the first day after the Berkeley Patients Group was forced to close due to federal pressure. According to the Contra Costra Times, “The 9,000 member Berkeley Patients Group has not yet found a suitable new location in Berkeley and plans to open a delivery service, dispensary management said Monday. Sixty nine employees of the dispensary will be out of work come Tuesday, but they will be paid through the end of the month.”
“There’s a lot to take into account in trying to follow state and local laws in finding a place,” Sean Luse, chief operating officer, told the Contra Costra Times. “There’s a lot of fear out there in the community and that’s part of the challenge. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”
The feds are going after older dispensaries because they know that it sends a chilling effect to all other dispensaries in the state. This is truly a sad day, although, I’m sure the Berkeley Patients Group will be back soon. They are too popular, and they provide a service that is too vital to people’s lives. The feds can bully all they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that marijuana is medicine, and people will continue to need it.