The long and arduous journey of cannabis legalization in California has been filled with constant changes to laws, regulations and even the ways that people purchase their cannabis. From cannabis collectives to state-legal retail dispensaries, how did we get the ability to serve the Port Hueneme community and beyond? As you know, a dispensary was looked at as only a dream 20 years ago to those who were fighting for legalization.

Medical Marijuana Legalizatione communities in California were trying to legalize cannabis long before, in a first for the United States, California became the first state to open up the medical use of cannabis in the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Proposition 215). With this new law enacted, Californians were able to obtain a medical marijuana card which allowed them to buy cannabis through either growing their own, or purchasing from a registered grower known as a caregiver. These caregivers found that they were able to service more and more people who were using cannabis medicinally by creating what’s called a collective. The cannabis collective model works just like any other collective, in that a group of people worked together on a common goal and share the fruits of their labor amongst its community.

Cannabis Collectives in California

In California, collectives are allowed to exist because of California Health and Safety Code 11362.775, permitting patients and caregivers to work together to cultivate marijuana.

These collectives usually include a membership agreement, a mission statement, and probably the most defining aspect of the collective is that the profits are not distributed to its members but rather put back into the group.

Dispensaries Become the New Collective

The collective model in California allowed Hueneme Patient Collective (HPC) to open its doors in mid 2018, and operated as the first cannabis collective in Port Hueneme. Once Prop 64 was enacted at the start of the year in 2018, HPC along with the rest of the cannabis collectives in California changed their structure to what you now know as a cannabis dispensary.

Dispensaries, in contrast to collectives, allow for the sale of both recreational and medical marijuana. They are also usually owned by one or a few people. HPC is a female owned cannabis dispensary and is licensed by the city of Port Hueneme and has also obtained a delivery license.