Berkeley, Calif., will now require medical-marijuana dispensaries to give away free cannabis to very low-income patients, CBS reports.
The city council unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday that mandates the dispensaries hand over 2 percent of their total inventory to low-income folks and homeless people. They won’t get away with giving out their leftovers, either, as the ordinance requires that the pot must be good quality. The ordinance reads: ”Medical cannabis provided under this section shall be the same quality on average” as marijuana “dispensed to other members.”
“Basically, the city council wants to make sure that low-income, homeless, indigent folks have access to their medical marijuana, their medicine,” Berkeley City Council member Darryl Moore told CBS. “We think this is the responsible thing to do for those less fortunate in our community.”
The Berkeley Patients Group, which is one of the city’s marijuana dispensaries, has already been giving out free marijuana to the poor for the past 15 years. Sean Luse, a spokesperson for the group, explained, “We’ve found out over the years that one of the cruel realities is that when you do get sick and you have a serious illness is that it’s often hard to keep a job, can be hard to keep your income up, so those people really need the help the most.”
The measure will receive final approval next week.