*Two Articles* Berkeley, CA Update

Article at the bottom has the link you may need for details, the article just below this has the latest update!!!!

BERKELEY (CBS SF) — The city of Berkeley will require medical marijuana dispensaries to give away two percent of the amount of cannabis they sell each year free to low-income patients. The City Council voted unanimously at Tuesday’s meeting to amend the city’s medical pot rules, which would also allow for a fourth dispensary in Berkeley. “Basically, the city council wants to make sure that low-income, homeless, indigent folks have access to their medical marijuana, their medicine,” said Berkeley City Councilmember Darryl Moore. Under the proposal, at least two percent of all medical weed dispensed at a club would have to be provided at no cost to very low-income members — and it must be the same quality that’s dispensed to regular paying customers.

“We think this is the responsible thing to do for those less fortunate in our community,” said Moore.

The measure also revisits definitions for cannabis collectives and dispensaries, patients and caregivers, on top of setting new rules for hours of operation and the methods for testing cannabis and edibles.

One Berkeley marijuana dispensary, the Berkeley Patients Group, already gives out free cannabis to the poor, and has for 15 years.

“We’ve found out over the years that one of the cruel realities is that when you do get sick and you have a serious illness is that it’s often hard to keep a job, can be hard to keep your income up, so those people really need the help the most,” said Sean Luse of Berkeley Patients Group.

The measure is set for final approval next week.

The Berkeley City Council is set to discuss and potentially vote tonight on a first reading of amendments to the city’s medical pot rules, allowing a fourth dispensary in the city and mandating free weed for very low-income patients.

Berkeley currently has three permitted dispensaries. Voters approved Measure T in 2010, which called for a fourth dispensary. A federal crackdown on medical cannabis businesses like Berkeley Patients Group delayed the implementation of Measure T, however.

Berkeleyside reports: “Just a few weeks ago, Mayor Tom Bates said the political environment, with the federal government cracking down on medical marijuana operations, made it too uncertain for Berkeley to go forward with an additional dispensary.

“But other council members felt the city had already taken a long time to approve the fourth dispensary and it shouldn’t be postponed any longer.”

The new rules would implement a ranking system for dispensary license applicants, and tweak the rules for private collectives in Berkeley.

Under the proposed rules, at least 2 percent of all medical cannabis dispensed at a club would have to be provided at no cost to very low-income members. The pot has be of good quality, too.

“Medical Cannabis provided under this Section shall be the same quality on average as Medical Cannabis that is dispensed to other members,” new section 12.27.080 of the Berkeley Municipal Code would read.

Council could also refer to the planning commission a rule change to allow for six licensed dispensaries in Berkeley.

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