Free Weed for Low-Income Patients Is Now Law in Berkeley

FREE WEEDFree weed for low-income patients is now the law in the city of Berkeley, California. How cool is that, eh? Starting July 1st the city will require medical marijuana dispensaries to give away two percent of the amount of cannabis they sell each year to qualifying patients. And we’re not talking schwag, according to a new section of the Berkeley Municipal Code “Medical Cannabis provided under this Section shall be the same quality on average as Medical Cannabis that is dispensed to other members.”


That’s not all, during Tuesday’s meeting Berkeley also decided to amend the city’s medical marijuana rules and allow a fourth dispensary in Berkeley. Residents voted for Measure T in 2010, which called for a fourth dispensary. Originally the Medical Cannabis Commission had recommended that Berkeley open six dispensaries to meet the demand, but council members decided that was too many, too fast. And recently 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. However the other councilmembers felt the city had taken a long time to approve the fourth dispensary and it shouldn’t be postponed any longer.

“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.

FREE WEEDTuesday’s discussion also revealed some interesting information about the shape of Berkeley’s medical marijuana community reports the Berkeleyside—While current law requires all collectives to have business licenses, only one collective has gotten one, according to Elizabeth Greene, the planner who staffs the Medical Cannabis Commission. While no one knows exactly how many collectives there are in Berkeley, City Councilman Kriss Worthington said he knows of “a couple hundred collectives.” He said he thought they had not gotten business licenses because they are so informal.

“Most are social networks; they don’t operate as businesses,” said Worthington. “They hang out together and one or two of them grow and share it with the social networks. It’s very informal. It’s not a business. They’re not trying to get rich. They are trying to take care of one another.”

Taking care of one another aligns with the spirit of Tuesdays changes to the medical marijuana landscape in Berkeley—free weed for those in need.

Do you think your city should kick-down medical marijuana to those who can’t afford it? Let us know in the comments.


9 Responses to “Free Weed for Low-Income Patients Is Now Law in Berkeley”

  1. Stacey Hunt

    Fantastic! The people deserve it!

  2. silva

    This is top why we have to pay for a plant that grows is beyond me anyways so this just makes perfect sense. There should be more of this done and should be full legal around the world. The fact that so many corporations are making billions from drug that will hame rather then help makes me one sad panda

  3. Karen Woodward

    i do believe that medical marijuana should be like any other medicine.if you get a medical card it should cover the cost minus the small co pay.

  4. JoBCcan

    Just try making that a law for Drug Co’s or ANY other business on this planet.
    That’s bull!! Seriously!

  5. Charles Fillinger

    Does Berkeley also require drugstores to supply the same % of free medication to sick people? Just saying if you are confiscating private property you should do it equitably.
    How about groceries and clothing? The poor need those too. While you are mandating, fix everything.

  6. Nightflyer_2

    If relatively affluent pain sufferers can easily access appropriate, there should be some mechanism to assure that terminally ill patients also have access regardless of their financial means. The real problem is the San Francisco health department can’t provide cannabis however dire the case.

  7. Jeremy

    It’s your stupid system of “private property” that causes poverty in the first place. So it’s not confiscating “private property” at all, because WE ALL have paid for it already many times over through our labour and stolen wages (profit).

  8. Mitchell Ortega

    As a hiv now Aid pation & need help if you can guide Me, live in L.A. Just want to live..thank for your work.

  9. Stoner Stuff

    Only for Berkeley residents dude. Move?

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