Congressmember Barbara Lee, state Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, and Berkeley City Councilmember Darryl Moore will celebrate the birthday today of the nation’s oldest medical cannabis dispensary — Berkeley Patients Group
starts at 4 p.m. today and goes until 9 p.m. with live music, refreshments, and patient specials all day. Staff sing Happy Birthday to BPG at 4:20 p.m. and a press conference begins 4:30 p.m. in the dispensary’s parking lot at 2366 San Pablo Ave.
The birthday represents a major milestone for medical cannabis, which California legalized in 1996. Activist and HIV patient Jim McClelland founded Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) on October 31, 1999. Much like its forefrunner started by Dennis Peron in San Francisco, BPG answered the need for a safe place where underserved patients could get high-quality medicine in a warm and welcoming, community-centric environment.
BPG helped usher in the modern medical marijuana era, surviving multiple presidential administrations, both Republican and Democrat. It also has had to contend with US Attorney Melinda Haag, who has continued her years-long effort
to close BPG and seize its leased building.
Happy birthday, BPG. And we hope you have many more.
BPG (via Facebook)
Master screen-printer, Thomas Wojak, finishes up a limited batch of posters commemorating BPG's 15 years of service.