Welcome to California Alternative Caregivers!

Check out CAC on Reuters video!

California Alternative Caregivers is the first legal collective in the city of Los Angeles, and the first Venice collective. CAC is a pre-ICO collective and listed as having “Best Practices” for the community by The Bridge Project!

Since its inception in 2005, CAC, the oldest legal co-op in the city of Los Angeles, has been a family collective. The comfortable, at home feeling is one of the many reasons our patients continue to return, recommending new patients along the way.

As a non-profit, our goal has always been to provide a safe, caring and quiet collective for our patients. We strive to provide the highest quality and safest organic alternatives to the dangerous side effects related to pharmaceuticals.

Our selection of organic strains includes kushes, pure sativas, pure indicas, and hybrids that are grown exclusively by our patients. Our large selection of edibles includes vegan, sugar free, gluten free and tinctures (glycerin).

The aim of our highly qualified volunteers is to educate our patients in the different medicinal effects of the strains, as well as edibles and smokeless vaporizing. We also help our patients find the most effective form of medicine for their individual needs.

First time patients must bring their original doctor’s recommendation and a valid photo California ID.

We now have Amsterdam Cup winning strains right here at California Alternative Caregivers! We are the only dispensary in the country to have these authentic strains!

Hours of Operation

Mon-Sat 10 am – 8 pm

Sunday 12 pm – 7 pm

Directions to CAC

122 S Lincoln Blvd, Suite 204

Venice, CA, 90291

877-219-3809

(Across the street from WholeFoods)

CBD Pharmaceutical Gets Clinical Trials

A drug called Epidiolex, which is derived from the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD, has been approved for clinical trials by the FDA… and thus far the results appear promising. It is thus far the only FDA approved drug containing cannabis to be approved for this purpose.

Epidiolex treats chronic seizures in children. One such disorder that inflicts children with constant debilitating seizures is Dravet Syndrome. Some children with this syndrome have so many seizures per day that they are unable to speak, walk, or otherwise communicate. They are prisoners in their own bodies. This was the case with Charlotte Figi, a young girl whose family moved to Colorado to try CBD oil for her seizures. Miraculously the oil worked, and the high CBD strain it is derived from is now called Charlotte’s Web.

Thus far the results appear “encouraging”, according to the neurologist leading Epidiolex’s research. Over half of the children and young adults treated continually with the trial drug saw a reduction in their seizures. The researchers hope promising results continue when they move on to placebo-controlled trials.

(Source)

What NOT To Do as a Dispensary: Hide Cannabis-Filled Easter Eggs Throughout a City

Talk about a rotten egg!

In Boston, MA, people found plastic Easter eggs spread across the city containing a voucher for a group called “Cannimals” and a medicated marijuana edible (some of which were in places where children could find them) in an apparent PR stunt.

The idea of a medicated Easter egg hunt sounds like a lot of fun–and it could be in controlled circumstances. There are currently no legal marijuana collectives in the city of Boston, which means “organizations” like Cannimals are technically operating outside of regulation. Hiding cannabis-filled Easter eggs throughout the city opens up the possibility of non-patients stumbling upon the eggs–or worse, children who don’t know any better, and who will more strongly feel the effects of THC. Not to mention that any plastic eggs that are not located and forgotten about basically become litter. Plastic is bad for the environment.

Cannimals’ mature response to those who have concerns about their methods, via their (now defunct) Instagram account: “To those who are salty that we did a giveaway today, please delete yourself from our [Instagram] page if you don’t like our Easter eggs — FUCK YOU.”

Groups like Cannimals give a bad name to legal collectives across the country with their irresponsible and immature behavior. Advocates work tirelessly to dispel the myth that marijuana patients are a bunch of stoners lying to get prescriptions so they can get high and actions like this only give us well-meaning citizens a bad name.

There are much better ways to celebrate Easter with a cannabis twist. One such example is baking Easter themed cupcakes with Cannabutter. Medicated deliciousness!

As always: stay safe and use your head when it comes to medical marijuana!

Trusting Edibles

Marijuana infused edibles are popular among patients who are either unable or unwilling to smoke their medicine. There are a plethora of reasons as to why someone chooses to not smoke: breathing issues, housing situation (many landlords in Los Angeles do not allow tenants to smoke in their properties), and dislike of the strong smell of cannabis are the most popular reasons people choose to eat rather than toke.

There are a lot of edible products out on the market now, but without regulation it can be tricky to discern a trusted vendor from one that isn’t.

Some good indicators that an edible is trustworthy based on what is detailed on the packaging:

  • Amount of THC (in milligrams) and dried cannabis in the edible.
  • Instructions for dosage.
  • A detailed list of ingredients.
  • The edible’s shelf life.
  • The kind of strain the cannabis (Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid).
  • The cannabinoids in the edible (THC, CBD, or a mixture of the two).
  • A website address that leads to a page with test results, testimonials, and additional product information.

If you are unsure of an edible’s dosage, potency, and ingredients, never be afraid to ask your collective of choice’s volunteers/employees for advice–if the collective is worthwhile, it will have knowledgeable staff who can help you choose the right medication for your needs.

Cannabis Groups from Around the World Rally to Talk Legalization

13 cannabis advocacy groups (including the U.S.’s own Americans for Safe Access) gathered in Prague to discuss strategies in getting the UN to reschedule marijuana.

The groups formed the IMCPC (International Medical Cannabis Patient Coalition) and their aims are to open discussion about marijuana and to get countries to decriminalize and reschedule the plant. They believe the UN’s policy in regards to cannabis is outdated and at odds with human rights developments throughout the world.

Hopefully the coalition will open the eyes of lawmakers at both the national and world levels and help them reconsider their outdated and draconian stance on marijuana.

Medical Marijuana Safety and You

In light of a recent robbery in Hyde Park, we are going to repost a previous article about staying safe with medical marijuana.

Although the Compassionate Care Act passed in California in the mid-90s, more and more people every day are being introduced to medical marijuana as an alternative to their pharmaceuticals. Here are some tips to keep yourself safe as you explore your options for getting a medical card and visiting your first collective:

  • Visit only reputable doctors for a medical marijuana recommendation. The intention of the law is to get your recommendation from your primary care physician, but many are unwilling to prescribe medical marijuana. Plus, getting your letter from an office that is not used to handling this sort of thing could slow down the process of registering at collectives, as they have to call your office to verify the recommendation. Practices that specialize in medical marijuana recommendations often have automated online and phone verification and have an expedited process for evaluating and writing out letters for patients. However, some of these places are known for unfair pricing (ie. advertising $40 for a letter at first but tacking on fees to bring the price for a yearly recommendation up to $100) or getting citations for various unsavory activities and having their medical licenses revoked. Only go to doctors that are reputable; most are on Yelp, peruse the reviews before paying them a visit. You can also check the status of the practicing doctor’s medical license on the CA BreEZe website.
  • Visit only pre-ICO collectives. Los Angeles recently passed a law (Measure D) that allows only legal collectives opened before 2007 to remain in operation. All other dispensaries are seen as illegal in the eyes of the law–and you could get in big trouble if you’re in one during a shut-down raid! Even beyond personal protection, it is a good idea to support pre-ICO collectives, as they are usually the most law-abiding and respectable ones around. Although the pre-ICO list being passed around the internet is rather outdated, here is a list of all the collectives who existed before and obeyed an ordinance passed in 2007.
  • Ask for test results of the marijuana. Any respectable medical marijuana collective has their medicine tested by a reputable third party. Test results show THC, CBD and CBN percentages as well as whether the product has any mold or pesticides in it. CAC’s medicine is tested by BudGenius Labs.
  • Be wary of anyone who doesn’t charge tax or “includes” the tax into the donation price. All legal collectives must charge tax and do so separately from the regular donation price. Any collective that tells you they are “including” or “combining” the tax into the donation is probably lying. While nobody likes to pay taxes, it is a necessary part of operating a legal and secure collective.
  • Ask about proper dosages with edibles. It is easy to eat too much (or too little!) of an edible and feel either miserably high or not at all. Ask the volunteer/employee of your collective of choice about the proper dosage, even if it’s illustrated on the packaging. Dosage varies from patient to patient based on potency desired. A well-educated staff member can tell you how much to take for your individual needs.
  • Don’t toke on the road. You may be feeling eager to indulge in the car as soon as you finish your first visit to a medical marijuana collective. Don’t do it! Firstly, the legal limit for THC is laughably low and you will likely get a DUI if pulled over (law enforcement is very skilled at identifying the smell of cannabis smoke). Secondly, if smoking, the effects will hit you fast and your driving skills will be impaired. The joke that those driving high sit and wait for stop signs to turn green isn’t just a playful jab! Even eating an edible or pill is not advised before or during driving. While the effects will not be felt as fast as smoking, you may find yourself stuck in traffic and having to deal with the strong effects of a potent edible behind the wheel. Not a pleasant experience, to say the least.
  • Do not share your medicine with anyone who does not have a recommendation. Doing so is illegal and could get both parties in trouble with the law. Open discussion of sharing medicine with a person who does not have a medical marijuana recommendation is a bannable offense here at CAC.

Always remember to medicate in a safe and comfortable environment and have your medical marijuana recommendation on hand.

“Legal” CBD Hemp Oil Issued Warnings by FDA

If you have an interest in CBD, you might have encountered companies out there who advertise “fully legal” CBD oil derived from industrial hemp. Because these oils are from hemp and not pure cannabis buds, consumers do not need a medical marijuana recommendation to purchase them, nor do they even need to live in a medical marijuana legal state. These CBD hemp oils claim to treat a wide variety of diseases, including cancer and autism.

Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is, according to the FDA.

A handful of CBD hemp oil companies were issued warning letters from the FDA because of unsubstantiated claims about their products and mislabeling their ingredients.

  • The oils frequently claim to treat or even outright cure certain cancers and conditions like autism and epilepsy–all statements not tested by the FDA. While there is some evidence that cannabis can help treat certain types of epilepsy, PTSD, AIDS, side effects of chemo medication and so on, there is no evidence that low concentrations of CBD derived from industrial help can “cure” anything.
  • The oils claim to have certain percentages of CBD when in reality all of the oils tested by the FDA had less than a percentage point of actual CBD–some even had absolutely zero CBD!
  • Labeling on certain oils left out key ingredients in their products.

An important distinction to make is that so-called “fully legal” CBD hemp oil is NOT the same as CBD oil derived from cannabis buds! To purchase oils with high concentrations of CBD (which are manufactured from the plant’s resin, NOT the hemp part), you need to be a medical marijuana patient in a legal state with an active prescription. You cannot buy these oils off the internet, and you certainly can’t get them in a state that does not have legal cannabis. People have been duped into thinking that CBD hemp oil is the same as the Charlotte’s Web oil used to treat children’s seizures. The difference is so large that it is like comparing a placebo to actual medication–the CBD hemp oil will do little to nothing for your illness!

The most disappointing part of this story is that the insidious CBD hemp oil industry is trying to worm its way into collectives. To use ours as an example, we once had a vendor approach us about carrying their CBD oil. They claimed to have test results on their website (which, conveniently, was not working correctly when they visited us). Before we would consider carrying their medicine, we had our own testing company test the oil and it was revealed that their so-called “CBD oil” had no trace of cannabis in it at all!

We do carry REAL CBD oil from Care By Design, though!

Medical Marijuana and Organ Transplants

California residents are being denied potentially life-saving organ transplants because of their status as a medical marijuana patient.

Policies for organ transplantation predate medical marijuana. They make no differentiation between medical marijuana and any other drug, which means medical marijuana patients must choose between a new organ or continued marijuana use–often needed to help the patient function in their day-to-day lives.

Hospitals in California regularly refuse to add medical marijuana patients to transplant lists. While Washington has implemented laws to protect medical marijuana patients needing organ transplants, such laws have not reached most other medical marijuana states.

Reps at UCSD medical have pointed out that there are many factors at play when considering a patient for transplant eligibility and that medical marijuana use is not the only thing that could disqualify a patient.