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Going to California

Discussion in 'Medical Marijuana Usage and Applications' started by missMJ, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Hey cats!

    So here's a little bit of background information: My boyfriend and I are very big (a.k.a obsessed, overly passionate about, in-love-with) growing and the entire medicinal cannabis culture. He would love to make it his profession to grow medicinal marijuana and start up a dispensary, while I would love to have a job working as a medicinal special-goods "chef". We have done an incredible amount of research as far as learning what it takes to work for a dispensary/start one up (thanks to Prop. 1 in MI), but what we would really like is to visit some dispensaries first hand and get nice and dirty with some quality information/advice from those in "the know". Obviously there is no better way to get advice and to learn than going straight to the source.

    This is why we've decided to take a trip out West this Spring to go and visit as many dispensaries as we can (or, at least look in to a few major ones who would be willing to offer advice). We've been settling on the idea of going up to North Cali around the Humboldt area, but being from the Midwest, we don't really know the scene up there so we have no idea where to stay, or if it's even the right place to go.

    With that said ...

    Do any of you have any suggestions? We're not set on anything right now (as I'd like to do enough adequate research to find a town/city truly worth visiting) so I would love all the opinions/suggestions I could get! I would like to book our travel/accommodation expenses well ahead of time to save some cash. I just don't know where to look!

    Any other advice, whether it be relating to the topic of travel or not, will also be highly welcomed. Especially if it has anything to do with getting in to the medicinal marijuana field (other than just having a caregiver's license). I have a huge amount of respect for most of the regular members here, so I trust (and am very grateful for!) any opinions/suggestions that are given.


    Thank you!
  2. :wave:
    Greetings from Illinois haha! I'm moving to California on the 17th, I'm pretty stoked. But I really don't know how the whole medical marijuana card works out(which [fingers crossed] I am hopefully going to obtain). Where in IL are you from? Oh god, Illinois is sucha drag...
  3. Hate to tell you this, but unless you're a resident of California AND have your medical MJ recommendation, you won't get past security in ANY California Dispensary. Legally you cannot set foot in a club, and the clubs are extremely cautious about who they let in.

    NOW, you might want to take a look at Oaksterdam University, they have classes that will teach you everything you could want to know.
  4. I'm basically in the same boat as you, missMJ!

    I'm moving to California in ~4 years. Where to, no idea! Like you, I just want to know what area will be worthwhile. And I'd like to legally work in the industry as well, in any shape or form. I'm truly passionate about this plant. I hope you have the best of luck. Best of luck to all of us!

  5. Yeah.... That.

    You could also call the dispensaries and see if you could set up a meeting with the owners or managers of them.

    You're really looking at a difficult time as everyone is really freaked about the feds at the moment.

    Decriminalization would be the smartest move this country has made in almost 100 years.

    Who's up for a million man march on D.C. April 20th?

  6. I'm a little confused .... are you trying to start a dispensery in California or Michigan?

    As far as Humboldt goes I can tell you that they pretty well have the dispensery scene locked up tight. McKinleyville, Fortuna, and Eureka are non dispensery friendly and Arcata recently passed regs stating a cap of 3 clubs (there are currently 4 and they are waiting for 1 to close).

    As with any bussiness the most important need for a despensery would be $$$$ .... and lots of it. I'm fairly sure that with the current economic conditions it would be hard/impossible to secure a bussiness loan for start-up. My best guess is that you'd need $100k-$500K, depending on the situation.

    A more realistic idea is to become a patient supplier for a dispensery. It would still require a fair bit of money to get a locationa and set up, but it would be a much more affordable $25k-$50k.

    Humboldt is a beautiful place to live and work, but it is terribly expensive and can be a hard place to dig in roots (pun intended).

  7. what he said
  8. #8 puffpuffere, Jan 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2009
    Wildwill had a very good suggestion. Oaksterdam University. It's located in Oakland, CA in an area called Oaksterdam. I was just there a few days ago. Cali. and MI laws, I'm sure, are different. However I know you will be well informed of many things if you attend. Also, just going to Oaksterdam is kinda neet (not a place to be at night). They have a gift shop and a few other things. It's true though, you won't be able to enter the dispensary w/o being a CA MMJ patient. Caregivers can go in but I believe they would also have to be a CA resident. They have coffee shops in the front of some of the dispensaries and anyone can go in the coffee shop part. Also, Oakland has a city ordinance similar to Amsterdam where marijuana even though illegal (you get a ticket for small amounts) is their lowest priority. Keep in mind that Oaksterdam is only about a half hour from Haight Ashbury. People still smoke on the streets there! Humbolt Co. has pot everywhere but you will still need to be an MMJ patient to get in the dispensaries. If you're comming on vacation there would be more things to do in the Bay Area and I believe more info available.

    If the dispensary idea doesn't work for you there may be other options that fit with your laws, like being a caregiver and charging a fee to grow their stuff. No sales involved, it's their stuff. I seen a guy that did this on large scale. He had raised quonset huts with like 50 or more plants in each. The plants were like 12' tall !!!
  9. Wow lots to respond to! Thanks everybody for your input...

    ling_ling: Chicago! Probably the only place Illinois has going for it. :) Congrats on making the big move! Best of luck.

    WildWill: Bummer. Makes sense, though, I suppose I would be a little on my toes too if I had to watch for the feds constantly. I would just think if there were two ambitious young adults willing to take a huge risk and turn something like cannabis cultivation in to a life profession there would be more eager and willing "elders" to help out ..... Guess it's every man for themselves. ;) Oaksterdam Uni sounds very interesting, but "classes"? Like business classes? More or less, we're not moving to California yet, simply wanting to make a field trip to try and educate ourselves a little more through a first hand basis. :)

    VaporHead: Haha go for the gold! Hope to see you out there sometime. ;) Maybe in the future our paths will cross and many good headies will be exchanged.

    HydroGanic: I wish it didn't have to be that way!

    Duckhead: Neither, yet. Eventually in life we would love to open our own dispensary. That's why we're just looking for as much information about/in to the field as we can. The more knowledge/experience the better. We just wanted to see if we could find any helpful people willing to share advice and knowledge with us. Naturally you can't just open up a dispensary on random (we need our caregivers licenses, first!), so we just wanted to know HOW people that supply dispensaries (those in the guerilla grow scene) got there, where the dispensaries find their bud connections, how bakeries work within dispensaries, how to get an internship with a dispensary, etc. Also, thanks for the inside info about Humboldt. Any other ideas of places we could hit up?

    puffpuffere: Sounds very touristy. Something that is openly available to the public doesn't seem like it would be too beneficial, but who am I to say. You've been there, not me! If you think it would be worth hitting up, we may consider. What classes did you take there? And yes, being a caregiver is on our checklist. ;)

    So sorry for the confusion everyone! We're not looking to open one up right away, simply see if there are any people/places out there willing to take us under their wing for a couple of hours/days and talk to us. :) Just about how they get started, what they needed to do to get started, what education did they recieve, any advice on the future, etc. Things like that. Of course I could always do that through e-mails, but we just wanted to go and visit a few places in person. Meet a few people along the way. :)

    By the way, just turns out in April we're headed to the Spannabis Cup 09 located in Spain. So if there are any of you out there with any tips or suggestions for that, feel free to leave your 2 cents! :)
  10. i know Oaksterdam University has weekend seminars, thats what makes it so awesome. Google it, read about it a little bit. They will teach you everything about marijuana. Laws and regs, business side of things, the growing side, the actual weed part, dispensaries, everything.

    It is literally exactly what I am looking to take when I have the opportunity (should happen this summer) and you should look into it.

    And the thing about it is, there is not a lot of "elders" out there, since this is all coming around recently there isnt like the wise old man to lead the way, we have to figure it out for ourselves like the founding fathers

    I plan to do exactly what you want to do, open up my own small business where I grow some fire (my idea is to grow my own local strains that you would only be able to get at my spot, but would be awesome weed) -- pretty much own a small grow shop where i grow my own awesomeness and sell it (also selling the name brand stuff as well, obviously) with possibly a head shop and coffee house set up, pretty much a stoners one-stop-shop

    obviously, marijuana laws will need to change for that dream to happen, but I'm confident that change is coming here sooner than later and I will be there at the right time..being in college now its still years off until that dream started to become a reality anyway.

    But yea, check out Oaksterdamn U, and BE SURE you have the laws figured out. Take with marijuana lawyer specialists or whatever, just make sure you know the ins and outs of the legal aspects so you can protect yourself.
  11. Northern California

    the title of this thread reminds me of a Zeplin song.
  12. come out to cali now! for a season or two, get your prescriptions, find a garden/s to work at, be a trimmer, etc. and you can visit all the clubs in the offseason or on your days off. it is worth it to come out here if you are into this plant!

    generally clubs are where money is- bay area, socal, etc
    important producing areas may be elsewhere, where local jurisdictions or other conditions (public sentiment, economies being otherwise-depressed, rugged terrain) are favorable for herbs cultivation

    a la wine or other artisanal agricultural products, i think its worth it even for those who want to be in other parts of the business to get to know production really well thru experience. what i'm saying is i would advise to settle in a good production area. maybe someplace like sonoma county, with favorable laws, great growing conditions and easy access to super bay area activities including dispensaries and lots of other related stuff

    i personally love humboldt and all the surrounding counties and would be glad to live and work there. realistically that market is "flooded" and so a high % of their produce needs to go elsewhere

    one thing you could hope to set up on a spring trip, would be to return at the right time in the fall for "working vacation" as part of a trimming crew. many times crews camp or stay on-site. if you are getting a better idea of where you might like to be eventually, this of course can be a gr8 way to get to know some folks in the area too. if you do this, watch out for a-holes that don't pay their trimmers properly!

    best wishes!
  13. ps. an important and fascinating part of the puzzle here is the fact that while the state laws set certain minimums for what's allowed to qualified patients etc, local jurisdictions (especially counties, also cities) are legally allowed to increase (not decrease) these limits. also some cities seem to have said that they are not into regulating anymore what anybody wants to do with cannabis. otoh some counties, and certainly plenty of individuals (LEO, bureaucrats, neighbors) are "against" the whole thing and try to undermine the program and persecute mj users and advocates. really its all very fuzzy, what one can get away with or not varies almost moment by moment and block by block...
    probably wherever we are trying to work for awhile to come we'll need to have a relationship with a *good* attorney who is *into* fighting mj cases
  14. Hmm it seems more Simon and Garfunkle song title.

  15. HIt up Oaksterdam, place is crazy for medical ganj.
  16. well mam,as i do not advocate for you opening a medicinal marijuana shop because of my undying hate for marijuana cigarettes,as i do not approve of your lust for this drug.just kidding.i find it quiet wonderful of a dream you have,tho the real reason i do not support you in this pursuit is sole due to your own the d.e.a commonly raids medicinal shops threw out California randomly arresting individuals.the fact is if you do become successful in this pursuit,its a enividible fact you will be busted.and the reason for this is that the d.e.a and the federal government are not occupied bye busting small time medical suppliers nor big time medical suppliers it all has to do with making a impression in the medicinal marijuana community and thus the public awareness .this is what they are occupied bye.but if you would like me to explain how to do so here you go.

    1.become a legal citizen of the state of California.
    2.become a legal member of the cannabis medical marijuana administration of California.
    3.discuss with other medicinal marijuana dispensary owners/advisers
    4.have a large Enif financial ground to start creating your business
    5.speak with the county/state.upon creating a medicinal marijuana shop.
    6.find patients to work for you.

    and wreak the massive profits until your busted.he he

    now the advice one person gave to you referring to being a supplier of medicinal cannabis to the shop itself is a better idea.because technically some county's such as sonoma or Santa Cruz you are capable of growing a unrealistic amount of cannabis .but remember as we all know what the federal government is spouse to do and what they do are completely separate endivers,i am referring to when you are a medicinal patient there is a list in which they watch you.and your put on that list when you become a member of the coalition of cannabis.arnt heat seeking airplanes wonderful!

  17. Sorry.

    Not all dispensaries have been busted.
    It's not an inevitable fact that you'll get busted for opening one.

    I'm not saying it's NOT a F'kd situation there, just saying that it's not a guarantee that you'll get busted by the DEA, just for opening a dispensary.
  18. if you notice what i said,was that if you become a successful dispensary, not if you open one up.Marc emery for instance is a good example of unlawful act of federal bullshit.tho not a medical marijuana dispensary owner,he was essentially in the same field.Mr.lynch is a great example,facing a long period of time due to ownership of a dispensary.just think if they can send someone to prison such as Michelle rainy they have no problem sending you.
  19. we've had some discussion based on this thread, in pm's, and w/permission i'm pasting it back in here cuz it seems relevant ... my contributions are based on limited experience in one geographical area & i'd love to know a lot more about how things vary from area to area..


    i like information-sharing, cuz i want this endeavor of ours to continue to improve. there's so much room for improvement!

    we have to love our history, it's our roots, and the story of our elders also (there certainly are elders in our work of course). prohibition etc has made it a story of an underground thing, it tested courage and clarified the hollowness of the square-ocracy. it also screwed us in many ways, people still lack information and endure rumor, superstition, fear, fucked-with weed, etc

    but maybe a new day rilly is coming when we can stand tall and proud with our plants, show them off in the sun like in a vineyard, teach our children about the blessed ganja without risking losing them and going to penitentiary...

    joy and blessings

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