THE OLDEST DISPENSARY IN BUSINESS: Berkeley Patients Group Defines Longevity – Dope Magazine   Recently updated !


Longevity can be defined as having a long life in the face of both favorable and adverse conditions, and finding the strength to persevere. Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) is a prime example of longevity.

Old BPG

Simply put, BPG has outlasted the competition by being the best dispensary it can be. By serving the patients of Berkeley year in and year out with exemplary customer service and knowledge of the plant, BPG has established itself as an East Bay institution.

Berkeley Patients Group was founded by Jim McClelland in 1999. After his passing in 2000, he left the business to three successors whose mission was to provide the people of Berkeley with a reputable and compassionate dispensary they could rely upon. Maintaining a standard of excellence is what has kept the dispensary running and thriving nearly 18 years later.

“BPG grew fast because of the regulations put in place by City Council members and elected officials who supported the sale of legal marijuana despite it being illegal according to federal law,” says Victor Pinho, the Marketing Director of BPG. “Berkeley Patients Group has been setting the bar on best business practices in this fast-growing industry since it was founded.”

But over the nearly two decades that BPG has been open, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. The cannabis dispensary has survived numerous attempts at being shut down by the Federal Government, seized bank accounts in 2007 and back taxed $6.5 million in 2011: the same year the Justice Department closed down hundreds of cannabis clubs in California.

New BPG

Through it all, Berkeley Patients Group has continued to gain court victories and has remained open for 18 years now, with a brief shut down in 2012 when the Justice Department attempted to seize their building. With the city’s support and the backing of the community members of Berkeley, BPG reopened after a short time in their now existing location.

“It’s been exciting to be a part of the rapid growth and development . . . to set the pace as a historic institution of medical cannabis in Berkeley,” says Pinho. BPG focuses on being a tactful, responsible and judicious business that cares for its community and employees, all while providing safe and affordable access to the cleanest medicine in California. With values like this, BPG will be leading the California cannabis community for years to come.

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