Berkeley Requires Dispensaries to Provide Free Marijuana for Low-Income Patients

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday’s council meeting to amend the city’s medicinal marijuana rules. This change would allow for a fourth dispensary to be opened in the city, but also, it would require two percent of the cannabis sold each year at dispensaries to go to low-income patients, free of charge.

Council Member Darryl Moore said that the amendment was passed because “the city council wants to make sure that low-income, homeless, indigent folks have access to their medical marijuana, their medicine.”

A marijuana dispensary in Berkeley, called the Berkeley Patients Group, has already been practicing a free cannabis for the poor program for over 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 a spokesperson for the Berkeley Patients Group.

The measure will still have to go through final approval processes, but is set to be officially approved next week.

Read more about the decision here.