When federal prosecutors tried to shut down the oldest medical dispensary, not just in Berkeley, but in the entire state of California, the city of Berkeley decided to fight back. Berkeley Patients Group was founded in 1999 and has long been a model for safe access, even as it grew and gained popularity as well as financial success. In 2012, when U.S. Attorney General Melinda Haag moved to seize all assets and close the dispensary’s doors, the city of Berkeley decided that this aggression would not stand and sued to block the forfeiture, arguing that the city would suffer irreparable harm from the loss of one of the most respected legal cannabis dispensary in the community. And wonder of wonders, the city of Berkeley won! Federal authorities ruled in favor of the city and Berkeley Patients Group won the right to serve the community and its patients. It’s a beautiful day in Berkeley!
In addition to this ruling, California’s medical marijuana law may be been expanding, with the recent introduction of HR 262, to protect medical marijuana assets from civil forfeiture, andAssembly Bill 266, which would serve to regulate the vastly unregulated medical marijuana market in California.