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Berkeley Patients Group Wins in Federal Court

from right to left - Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates (far right), City Councilman Darryl Moore, BPG's Victor Pinho, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, BPG staff on BPG's 15 year anniversary in 2014: photo c/o BPG

Stay handed down in forfeiture action.

from right to left - Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates (far right), City Councilman Darryl Moore, BPG's Victor Pinho, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, BPG staff on BPG's 15 year anniversary in 2014: photo c/o BPG

from right to left – Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates (far right), City Councilman Darryl Moore, BPG’s Victor Pinho, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, BPG staff on BPG’s 15 year anniversary in 2014: photo c/o BPG

The longest running medical marijuana dispensary in California, Berkeley Patients Group (BPG), won a major victory in federal court. United States District Judge Jon S. Tigar granted a stay in federal prosecutor Melinda Haag’s attempt to seize all of the assets of the company.

BPG is currently involved in an ongoing case in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Haag, a Deputy US Attorney in California, is known for going after medical marijuana facilities including Harborside Health Services in Oakland, CA.

The City of Berkeley and the owners of the property in question sued to stop the forfeiture action against BPG.

Judge Tigar recognized that if the assets were taken now it would shut the business down entirely. That would be unfair.

“If Berkeley succeeds on appeal and this forfeiture action is complete at that time, Berkeley could face the inconsistency of having succeeded on appeal only to find that it cannot vindicate its interest in the property,” said Judge Tigar in the final order.

BPG noted in a press release today their history and longstanding respect in the city.

“Activist and HIV patient Jim McClelland founded Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) on October 31,1999. Since then, BPG has created and maintained the standards of excellence for the industry, and has worked tirelessly to foster a compassionate community that advances understanding and inspires action. BPG employs a social-service-based model, giving back to the local community through donations, sponsorship, and volunteerism.”

“October 31, 2009 was designated as ‘Berkeley Patients Group Day’ in the City of Berkeley in honor of BPG’s contributions to the surrounding community. And in 2014, upon its 15-year anniversary, October 31 was again named by Mayor Tom Bates as ‘Berkeley Patients Group Day’ in the City of Berkeley and BPG was presented a ‘Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition’ by Congresswoman Barbara Lee.”

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