Molotov Cocktail, Bob Hope or Horchata? Sophia Seymens took her time inspecting the stems, leaves and nodes on the cannabis clones, deciding which strains to plant at home.
Growing plants is the most cost-effective option for her marijuana use these days, Seymens said. While she doesn’t shop at dispensaries often, she still browses Berkeley Patients Group’s shelves for the sense of community and the knowledgeable staff.
“Even though it’s legalized, there’s still not a lot of space for people to actually learn about the plant and how to use it properly,” Seymens said. “I feel like that’s why places like this are so important; they offer an opportunity for people who might not necessarily buy weed on the street to feel comfortable and find somebody here who can help.”
But the modest shop at 2366 San Pablo Ave. that’s operated since 1999 — making it the nation’s oldest continuously operating cannabis dispensary — is struggling to keep its doors open.
It has a lot of company — California’s $5.3 billion legal pot industry is barely staying afloat. Continued federal restrictions, booming illicit markets, crumbling wholesale prices of pot per pound and crippling tax burdens have decimated any potential to make a