Berkeley dispensaries must give free pot to poor members, city says

Pot dispensaries in Berkeley will have to give away some of their marijuana to low-income patients, the City Council decided. Above, marijuana plants.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Berkeley must give some of their pot free of charge to low-income patients under an ordinance approved by the City Council.

At least 2% of the marijuana each dispensary doles out needs to be given free to dispensary members who have “very low” incomes and are Berkeley residents, the ordinance, approved Tuesday, says.

The ordinance also stipulates that free pot must be the same quality, on average, as the pot that other members buy.


According to NBC Bay Area, the City Council has defined very low income as $32,000 a year for one person and $46,000 a year for a family of four.

Berkeley had three permitted dispensaries as of early 2012, according to the ordinance.

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