Frequently Asked Questions

Read this great letter to the Berkeley Daily Planet, written by Amanda Reiman, Chairwoman of the Berkeley Medical Cannabis Commission, explaining the process by which Measure T came about and why this measure is necessary.

Didn’t the voters just pass Measure JJ in 2008?  Why do we need Measure T?

Medical marijuana is legal under state law, but leaves regulation to the local jurisdiction.  In 2008, Berkeley passed Measure JJ by voter initiative.  Since then, we have discovered some serious errors in Measure JJ.  Measure T closes these loopholes, and regulates cultivation and dispensing. 

Protects all schools: Current regulation do not include protections for private schools. Under Measure T any dispensary must be located at least 600 feet from any school. This brings Berkeley into compliance with State regulations under AB2650 that creates buffer zones of 600 feet for all schools. 

Locating Cultivation Sites: Currently, cultivation of medical marijuana and the production of products containing medical marijuana (baked goods and lotions) is unregulated. Measure T will require large-scale cultivation to be located away from neighborhoods, in the industrial zone of West Berkeley, and limits the number to six sites 

Codes and Energy Offsets: Currently, there is no code and inspection overview of cultivation sites, making grow houses vulnerable to electrical fires, mold, and property damage.  Measure T requires compliance with codes, requires energy offsets for high electricity consumption, and regulates pesticide and herbicide use.                

Crime and Safety: Measure T requires a police approved security plan before a dispensary and non-dispensing establishment, including cultivation sites, can open.

Oversight: Currently the medical marijuana oversight body consisting of 6 members made up solely of representatives of medical marijuana dispensaries.  Measure T, proposes having 9 members appointed by each City Council member. This will allow for oversight from many perspectives, not just the marijuana industry.

Access to Medicine:  Measure T will help to ensure affordable access to medicine by requiring cultivators to provide medicine to low-income income patients.

It is most important to note that if Measure T does not pass, then regulation defaults back to those required under Measure JJ. Measure T would close some glaring loopholes and also allow the City Council to fine-tune the ordinance if issues arise in the future.

How does the Peer Review Committee established by Measure JJ differ from the commission that would be established by Measure T?

The Peer Review Committee established under Measure JJ is a 6 member body composed solely of representatives from medical marijuana dispensaries.  Measure T would establish a 9 member commission that would still ensure representation from the medical marijuana industry (1 from a dispensary, 1 from a collective and 1 from a cultivator).  The remaining seats would allow for representatives from other perspectives, including educators, law enforcement, and healthcare and counseling professionals.  Measure T would ensure input from the broader community.


Would Measure T increase the availability of marijuana?

No.  While Measure T would improve affordable access to much-needed medicine by providing free medicine to qualified low-income patients, Measure T would not make marijuana available to anybody that it is currently unavailable to under state law.


Why does Measure T require that dispensaries be 600ft from schools when state law requires them to be 1000ft from schools?

Measure T is in conformance with current state law.  Gov. Schwarzenegger recently signed into law AB2650, which requires dispensaries be 600ft from a school.  AB2650 was sponsored by Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) and endorsed by the California Police Chiefs’ Association and the California State Sheriffs’ Association.