Berkeley Patients Group on San Pablo Avenue: says it is moving, not closing. Photos: Frances Dinkelspiel

Berkeley Patients Group, which had declined for weeks to confirm or deny that the federal government had told its landlord it had to move, sent out an email Thursday night saying it was not going out of business.

“Recent media reports have erroneously stated that Berkeley Patients Group, one of the oldest and well-respected medical cannabis dispensaries in California, is closing its doors,” Chief Operating Officer Sean Luse said in a press release. “The following statement provides accurate information on BPG’s status: Berkeley Patients Group remains dedicated to providing safe and affordable access to its patient-members, while working to preserve the jobs of its 70+ employees. BPG is not closing. We have been looking to relocate for several years and look forward to announcing our new site, soon. We are grateful for the level of support we have received from the Berkeley community over the years.”

BPG’s landlord, David Mayeri, received a letter from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag warning him that the dispensary at 2747 San Pablo Avenue was within 1,000 feet of a school, according to knowledgeable sources who asked not to be names. The letter threatened Mayeri with financial penalties or criminal sanctions if sales of cannabis were not stopped.

BPG and Mayeri signed a legal agreement Feb. 28 in which the dispensary agreed to cease all cannabis sales by May 1, according to California Watch.

BPG has been looking for a new location for years. In this current political climate, where Haig has aggressively targeted landlords who rent to cannabis operations, a new space may be difficult to find.

Berkeley’s largest cannabis dispensary to close May 1 [03.15.12]
Federal letter may make Berkeley Patients Group relocate [03.14.12] 

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...