Medical Marijuana Collectives
A medical marijuana collective, under California marijuana law, is an organization that works together to cultivate and share marijuana between members. The description given by the Attorney General is very vague and leads to many different interpretations
However, a few points are clearly expressed:
- Medical Marijuana Collectives are to be non-profit organizations. Collectives may not purchase or sell medical marijuana to patients outside of the organization.
- Collectives may “organize as some form of business to carry out its activities”, per the definition given by the Attorney General.
Basically, what this means is that medical marijuana collectives are organizations, or marijuana clubs, that cultivate marijuana and share the harvests among members. The marijuana is not purchased by members, or non-members, but shared. There are usually patients and caregivers that work together to build a mutually beneficial organization for all members.
However, medical marijuana collectives will obviously need money to operate. Collectives are allowed to organize some sort of business model to obtain money for their endeavors. Many times, to get the necessary funds, medical marijuana collectives will charge membership fees, ask for donations, or charge each member a fee for their share of the marijuana seeds that are planted.
In many collectives, each member may be expected to put their fair share of work into the collective. Members will help cultivate crops and harvest when necessary. Larger collectives may have a more structured model, defining caregivers and patients, but will still usually require participation. This is extremely helpful for those who depend on medical cannabis to manage a serious condition, as it will make their medicine much more affordable.
Additionally, medical marijuana collectives are not only about supplying marijuana. They provide emotional support and help with other personal needs. Marijuana collectives provide patients with supportive networks that truly care about one another.
Not everyone can become part of a medical marijuana collective. Patients must first obtain their medical marijuana authorization from a physician and apply to become a member of a collective. Their application will be reviewed and they will be accepted or denied based on availability and the individual’s application. Fortunately, those that are accepted into a collective will be part of a supportive team that makes sure each member’s needs are addressed.