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.

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)

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 They believe the UN’s policy in regards to cannabis is outdated and at odds with human rights developments throughout the world.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the coalition will open the eyes of lawmakers at both the national and world levels and help them reconsider their outdated and draconian stance on marijuana.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.

New Strain: Kushtronic

image

THC: 15.03%

CBD: 0.34%

CBN: 0.18%

Kushtronic is an organically-grown Indica strain grown indoors. Indicas are best known for pain relief, aiding in sleep, and relaxing the body. Its 15% THC provides just the right amount of relief for regular users.

Kush strains trace their origins back to the Hindu Kush region that shares boundaries with India and Pakistan. The region is known for cannabis and hashish production, and through selective breeding created short and stocky Indica plants.

There is now a wide variety of kush strains available in the U.S., such as the infamous OG Kush, Amsterdam-born Vanilla Kush, and Sour Kush (more popularly known as Headband). They are popular among Indica fans who favor high THC strains.

Kiva Edibles Demo! Thursday Feb 19th

imageKiva Chocolates will be doing a live demonstration at CAC on Thursday, February 19th from 6 PM to 8 PM!

A rep from the company will be visiting with samples for you to take home and try! Kiva Chocolates is one of our new vendors and they have delicious chocolate bars and other chocolate treats infused with cannabis.

Like all vendors at CAC, their product is lab tested by a reputable third party.

Come by and check them out this Thursday! (New patients will have to register with their doctor’s recommendation and California ID to access the demonstration).

Medical Marijuana and Employment: The Gray Area

While it is technically illegal for employers to discriminate against conditions and disabilities that are eligible for a medical marijuana doctor’s recommendation in the state of CA, they can still order you to take a drug test–and fire you if you have THC in your system, regardless if you have a marijuana rec or not.

This legal gray area has caused a plethora of problems for employed people in marijuana-legal states who have a rec and need to medicate to function at their job. Many who suffer from anxiety, depression, and chronic pain need cannabis to be productive members of society, yet employers (like banks and other financial institutions) still see marijuana as a “Schedule I” illegal drug that turns their employees into stoned zombies. Little do they know that cannabis is the reason their employees are alert, focused, and on task!

Not all employer paranoia about cannabis is completely unwarranted–a forklift driver, for example, should not be high on the job. But does it really matter if said forklift driver medicates at home on his own time? Most people would say no. Unfortunately due to the laws currently in place, flaws in drug testing, and our own physiology, it doesn’t matter if an employee consumes marijuana on the job or during the weekend–they are in constant danger of losing employment.

While random drug testing is illegal in many jurisdictions, if an employer has “reasonable suspicion” that an employee is intoxicated on the job, they can order him or her to take a drug test. This “reasonable suspicion” can come from something as minor as a slight mistake made while the employee is stone-cold sober. Due to the nature of cannabinoids and our physiology, THC can stay in our bodies for as long as a month after consumption… so the cannabis the employee smoked for their chronic pain on the weekend will register on their drug test. Even “trace amounts” of THC from a weekly edible taken off-duty can get an employee terminated, even with a reasonable excuse and a medical marijuana recommendation.

What can be done to protect medical marijuana patients and employers alike? While the laws seem like the easiest thing to blame, perhaps the biggest flaw is the drug test itself. There needs to be a method of differentiating between THC levels of someone who just “lit one up” and someone who consumed cannabis the day before. There also needs to be a blatant distinction between THC and testing positive for cocaine, meth, or heroin–lumping cannabis with other drugs is downright unfair to both employers and marijuana patients. Of course, legal protection is important as well–as long as the employee is not intoxicated on the job and has a medical marijuana rec, they should not have to fear for their job. Non-patients who drink alcohol do not have to worry about testing positive for “drunkenness” because they went to the bar the night before, so why should marijuana patients (who have a valid medical reason to be intoxicated on their own time!)?