January was a huge win for cannabis patients in Berkeley as the Berkeley City Council unanimously voted to overturn the 2011 ban of onsite smoking, vaping, and consuming cannabis in city's dispensaries.
Berkeley Community Health Commission was primarily opposed to the city rescinding the law due to concerns of the secondhand exposure of cannabis smoke and the possibility of impaired patient's ability to drive after visiting consumption lounges.
While Berkeley lawmakers have signed off on the changes, consumption will not start immediately. A permit distributed by the city will be required for lounges to offer a place for cannabis consumption use, which could take up to a year to obtain.
Cannabis dispensary Berkeley Patients Group, founded in 1999, thanked the city council after the consumption law reversal in a statement below:
"We want to thank our city council members for their diligence and thoughtfulness," the statement reads. "We'd also like to thank the staff, who spent three years researching and developing their prudent recommendations for a post-legalization world," adding that Berkeley officials "have shaped the most progressive cannabis regulations in the country."
In addition to this big win for cannabis users, the city also approved several other cannabis regulations, one of which included cannabis delivery services.
The Berkeley council will now allow seven delivery only cannabis services, four of which must be equity businesses. These businesses will operate in West Berkeley's manufacturing district and maintain a 300-foot distance from schools and youth-based facilities.