berkeley patients group

U.S.: Cannabis Activist, Debby Goldsberry, Publishes New Book for Would-Be Entrepreneurs

Debby Goldsberry

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Berkeley Patients Group co-founder, Debby Goldsberry, recently wrote Idiot’s Guides: Starting and Running a Marijuana Business, a how-to book on establishing a successful cannabis venture.

As the adult recreational use of marijuana becomes fully legal in California on Jan. 1, Goldsberry, now executive director of Magnolia Wellness in Oakland, decided it was the perfect time to write the book.

“I had just been reading an article that said the best way to build your brand is to write a book,” Goldsberry said.

California: Berkeley Requires Marijuana Dispensaries To Give Free Weed To Low-Income Patients


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Here's how it's done. The city of Berkeley, California will require medical marijuana dispensaries to give two percent of the amount of cannabis they sell each month to low income patients at no charge.

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously at Tuesday's meeting to change the city's medical marijuana rules, which would also allow for a fourth dispensary in the city, reports Ryan Takeo of CBS San Francisco.

"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.

At least two percent of all medical marijuana dispensed at each shop would be required to be given away to very low-income members under the proposal. What's more, the free cannabis would have to 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," Moore said.

The measure also adjusts the definitions for medical marijuana collectives and dispensaries, patients and caregivers, as well as setting new rules for operating hours and testing both cannabis and edibles.

One Berkeley dispensary, the Berkeley Patients Group, has already been giving out free cannabis to the poor for 15 years.

California: Berkeley Fights Federal Action To Seize Property Of Medical Marijuana Dispensary


City Files Claim Asserting that Federal Action Harms Berkeley’s Ability to Control and Regulate Medical Marijuana

Federal Action to Close Berkeley Patients Group will Hurt City’s Tax Revenue and Weaken Medical Marijuana Regulation, City Asserts in in Federal Court Proceeding

The City of Berkeley on Wednesday filed a claim in the action brought by the federal government in May to seize the property used by Berkeley Patients Group at 2366 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, California. Berkeley Patients Group has been providing medical marijuana to patients within the City since 1999. It is in full compliance with the City of Berkeley’s medical marijuana ordinance, regulations, and zoning laws.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California has used federal asset forfeiture laws to target and close numerous medical marijuana dispensaries, even when those dispensaries have long track records of working with the cities in which they are located, responsibly providing medical marijuana to patients, and complying with state and local law.

The city’s claim was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In its claim, the City asserts that the closure of Berkeley Patients Group will harm the City through the loss of substantial revenue. Berkeley Patients Group has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the City in taxes over the years.

U.S.: 30+ Cannabis Industry Leaders Head To D.C. To Tell Congress: "Tax Us -- Fairly"

There is a truth that must be heard!National Cannabis Industry Association to endorse taxation of adult-use marijuana proposal included in Senate Finance Committee’s “options paper,” while decrying an unfair existing tax provision

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

More than 30 marijuana business leaders will travel to Washington, D.C., from across the country to take part in a two-day lobbying visit. Industry leaders will discuss the primary challenges facing business owners which could be solved by reconciling state and federal law, including a lack of access to financial services, unjust application of tax provisions, and ongoing interference from the federal government.

In additional to numerous lobbying meetings, participants will join Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), and Jared Polis (D-CO) at a press conference on Wednesday, June 5, to discuss Internal Revenue Code Section 280E, which prohibits state-legal businesses from taking standard business deductions when computing their federal taxes and results in regulated cannabis businesses paying two to three times the effective tax rate for most other small businesses.

Participants will also discuss a recently released Senate Finance Committee "options paper," which includes the taxation of marijuana as a possible means of raising tax revenue at the federal level.

California: Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Swarmed By Marijuana Protesters In Berkeley

(Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Attorney General Eric Holder encountered an unhappy crowd of dozens of pro-marijuana protesters at the University of California Berkeley's campus on Saturday when he visited to address the graduating law school class.

During Holder's visit to campus, an airplane circled above Berkeley's Greek Theater for more than two hours, pulling a banner reading "Holder: End Rx Cannabis War #Peace4Patients," reports Carly Schwartz at The Huffington Post. As the Attorney General's limo turned toward the graduation ceremony, demonstrators were waving signs reading "Fight Crime, Not Cannabis."

"There's no doubt we got the A.G.'s attention," said California NORML President Dale Gieringer. "He can't come to Berkeley and not be reminded of his department's bad faith with respect to marijuana."

Holder and the Obama Administration have been harshly criticized for the stepped-up federal crackdown on the medical marijuana industry in California and other states which allow the medicinal use of cannabis.

Though medical marijuana was legalized by California's voters through Proposition 215, a 1996 ballot initiative, cannabis remains illegal for any purpose under federal law.

California: Obama Administration Targets Respected Marijuana Dispensary For Closure

(Graphic: Berkeley Patients Group)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Berkeley Patients Group, widely considered a national model for regulated medical marijuana providers and one of the oldest nonprofit medical cannabis collectives in California, on Wednesday announced it will fight a civil asset forfeiture suit served against its landlord in an effort to shutter the licensed business and seize the property from which it operates.

Berkeley city officials stood with representatives of Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) at a Wednesday press conference to defend the non-profit collective and announce a resolution condemning the actions of the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney.

In response to a similar case filed against Harborside Health Center by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag in June 2012, city officials in Oakland filed a lawsuit to prevent the closure and stop Haag’s suit from moving forward. This response and the resolution from Berkeley City Council represent a growing demand from state and local officials that the Obama Administration allow states to determine marijuana policy per its stated policy.

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