One of the oldest and most respected medical marijuana dispensaries in California is being forced to close its doors, another casualty in the federal medical marijuana crackdown.

Berkeley Patient’s Group has until May 1st to close up shop according to a ruling by Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay, handed down on February 28th.

Despite the fact that BPG pays millions of dollars in taxes and by all accounts is a model business, they will have to vacate their location in less than two months.

Why? Well, it seems that BPG is within 1,000 feet of two schools. U.S. Attorney for Northern California – Melinda Haag – said, “Marijuana dispensaries are full of cash and they’re full of marijuana, and everybody knows that. They are at risk of being robbed, and many of them are robbed.”

Using that logic, are pharmacies not allowed within 1,000 feet of a school? Are they not full of cash and all manner of drugs that will fetch good prices on the black market? The fact is that in many areas the medical marijuana and crime link has been dis-proven.

Closing down functioning businesses because of some unproven propaganda doesn’t seem like the best way to run a city, but here we are.

Supporters of BPG that gathered outside the shop after the news broke said the location had never been the scene of a robbery or violence. For their part, BPG said in a statement they were going to work to preserve the jobs of their 70+ employees. One could take this to mean that they may reappear in a new location, but there is no word on that yet.

And the decimation of California’s medical marijuana industry continues.

– Joe Klare