Berkeley Patients Group Relocation Moves Forward

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Berkeley City Council members decided at a closed session Monday to allow the Berkeley Patients Group to lease the former Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker factory building in West Berkeley.

However, Brad Senesac, director of communications for the medical marijuana dispensary, said the group will not use the approved zoning certificate until issues with neighbors in the proposed new location have been resolved.

"We'd like to find out what all the issues are from all the individuals ... and then resolve those issues," Senesac said. "A lot of times people have a lot of misconceptions about what Berkeley Patients Group does, and we'd like to educate and inform people before we move into the building."

The group has met with officials of Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley, a private school located near the proposed site, to discuss concerns regarding the move, according to Jennifer Monahan, the communications manager for the school.

Monahan said the main concern the school has is with the "legal ambiguity" of Measure JJ, which prohibits marijuana dispensaries from operating within 1,000 feet of public schools, but excludes private schools from the law.

"It seems like the Berkeley Patients Group is committed to that site," she said. "But we are still convinced that the law should cover all schools in Berkeley, and therefore the dispensary shouldn't move in so close to the school."

Tags: BERKELEY PATIENTS GROUP, OLD CHOCOLATE FACTORY


Denise Poon covers local business. Contact her at [email protected]



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