CALIFORNIA: On Wednesday, the city of Berkeley, Ca. filed a legal claim in a federal asset forfeiture case against the landlord of a medical marijuana dispensary in the city, Berkeley Patients Group.
The city is working to keep Berkeley Patients Group open, claiming it will lose tax money as a result of the mandated forfeiture. The city also claims that the government action interferes with its plans to regulate and monitor medical marijuana businesses. Berkeley believes that the federal government’s forfeiture suits will lead to an increase in unregulated medical marijuana businesses.
Berkeley Patients Group generates almost fifteen times the taxes of the city’s other two medical marijuana dispensaries. Through the fiscal year ending on June 30th, the collective paid the city almost $480,000 in taxes on sales of over $19 million. The city is projecting a loss in $720,000 in taxes on sales of about $29 million in the coming year, according to a city council report.
The legal work for the claim is being handled by the Drug Policy Alliance, a national group working to reform marijuana laws.