We can all agree the world could use a little bit more compassion, right? In these trying times, there’s nothing a little compassion can’t help! Our philosophy at The Higher Path has always been deeply rooted in compassion. It’s our simple way of saying “thank you” to all who’ve extended a helping hand to us along the way. From our industry predecessors, who fought tirelessly for our current ability to get cannabis in the hands of folks who need it most, to our small business neighbors on Ventura Boulevard, who offer us a parking space when our hands are full of donuts for our team! We’re committed to paying it forward, and one way we’ve been able to do just that is through our compassion program. Our incredible team member, and veteran cannabis expert, Zach, shared his complex relationship with the medicinal cannabis industry, and how that work ignited his passion for compassion.
The legal cannabis industry began from a genuine place of sympathy, understanding, and compassion, all of which inspired the passing of Prop 215 in 1996, thus allowing access to brothers and sisters that were dealing with AIDS, Cancer, and other ailments (thank you, Pot Brownie Mary for your sacrifice!). With the AIDS epidemic, cannabis was finally getting the medicinal credit it needed so CA could finally accept the helpful qualities this miracle plant provided. Prop 215, after much protest and education of the public, passed by 56%.
Shortly after the passing of 215, people were able to start opening Medical Marijuana Co-Ops, but still at great risk. I know this because I opened my first Medical Co-Op in 2006 in North Hollywood where I was able to do free giveaways and set up special accounts for anyone that was in need. For example, when I opened up my second Co-Op in Lancaster we signed up 436 patients in 3 weeks. In the ’50s there was radioactive material that was buried in the desert and we had a patient that was in her early 20’s. Her entire colon was removed due to cancer. We signed her up for a $250 dollar credit every month without a second thought.
After our short 3 weeks of opening and the local oncologists risking their licenses by writing people recommendations to come into our Co-Op, Steve Cooley shut us down. He was running for attorney general against now Vice President Kamala Harris. He and the city attorney said they found a loophole to stop the sales of cannabis. In all his “wisdom,” he took the only source of relief that these people could get.
I have fought for the legalization of Cannabis for the majority of my life. When I learned that Prop 64 was coming down the pipeline, I was all for it. We only ever asked the state to tax us and leave us alone to spread medicine and compassion; it seems like a reasonable enough request. With Prop 64 most of us thought we were getting just that. Little did we know that the regulations that were being implemented were going to put the worst stranglehold on the Cannabis Compassion Program that was already built into the industry.
The state implemented over-regulation, which created over taxation and horrible amounts of waste. Furthermore, it was a leading factor in creating an avenue for the extremely rich to now take over the cannabis industry and leave the rest behind. In order to go through the licensing process, you MUST have disposable income. The BCC expects you to pay for and set everything up before you even have a chance to apply for your license. There are some businesses out there that haven’t even started and they have spent millions just on rent, equipment, and employees. Then, when a business finally opens and can get a product to the final customer, it has been held for so long and taxed so much that you can’t pass any savings along. The only thing that should have changed about the entire industry is the testing aspect. We had minority-owned cannabis businesses, woman-owned cannabis businesses, and products to give out freely to those in need!
Working at The Higher Path and implementing our Cannabis Compassion Program has given me some hope that we still have people in the industry that survived the raids and the financial setbacks to be able to push the Bill SB-34 Dennis Peron Brownie Mary Act through the Bureau of Cannabis California. This program will allow us to provide free cannabis for those in need. From people with financial hardships to people with severe medical conditions that have now fallen into financial hardships with the enormous costs put upon them by the current health care system. The people just can’t make it through their day without the healing and comforting properties that this miracle plant provides.
If you are reading this, and you or someone you know could benefit from this program please apply. To enroll in our program start by going to thp.la/compassion and will out the short questionnaire to get started. Become a member of our wonderful collective of Cannabis Crusaders! After you sign up with your ID, your MMIC, and or your doctor’s recommendation, you will need to fill out the application by uploading your supporting documents, and then our team will review your application as our short approval process.
Once you are approved for the program you will have access to the products that are made available to the Cannabis Compassion Program. All the Cannabis Compassion Products are laboratory tested in accordance with California state law so they are clean and safe. As a qualifying compassion customer, you will receive a welcome email that will explain your next steps on how to begin receiving your free cannabis goods. There will also be a welcome menu with instructions for your first visit. Now is the time to squelch the decades-old fear that many people have about visiting a cannabis club. We are HIPPA compliant and will keep your information confidential. Your information is used solely for the purposes of administering The Higher Path Compassion Program.