Ep 045 | The New World of Legal Cannabis

In November of 2016, California voters decided it was time to legalize marijuana for recreational use. On January 1st of this year, marijuana officially became available for anyone over the age of 21. Now legalization has opened up a whole new world. Today my guest is Lauren Watson, Marketing Communications Manager for Berkeley Patients Group, which is the Nation's Longest-Running Dispensary, to get some insight on what legal pot means for California.

Address: 2366 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

Phone: 510-540-6013             Social: @BPGTweet

Getting Started

Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) founded in 1999 by Jim McKlellen
Early challenges
Issues w/ federal government

Stigma/ History

Documentation of ancient pot use
Used to be sold in pharmacies
60’s counter culture movement
70’s, War on Drugs waged against counter culture movement
Advanced science of pot
Prescription side effects

Personal Background

Started in high school
Moved to the West Coast
First dispensary experience

Berkeley Patients Group

Customer Experience
Need a government approved ID to get in
Most customers are there for medical treatments
Vending machine


Emerald Triangle is where most products come from
Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity Counties
Indoor Products

Working With Growers

Distributor acts as a middle man
Cannabis testing
Berkeley has strictest testing standards


What does CBD stand for?
How it is different from THC
Different compounds besides CBD and THC
Experimentation in Israel

Other Products

Flowers are the most popular
Vape pens
Edibles: vegan, gluten free, sugar free
Low dose edibles
Tinkters and Topicals
Plants (limit 6 per person)

Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid

Marketing terms meant to help educate customers
Sativa: Uplifting
Indica: Sedative
Hybrid: mix of both

Medical Cards

Not required
Other protections

After Legalization

Huge jump the first 2 weeks
Sticker shock from taxes
Tax money


Bank accounts getting shut down
Credit unions for cannabis operations
California only banks
Safety concerns

Day 1

Opened early on New Years Day
Berkeley Mayor on hand for ribbo0n cutting

Marijuana Myths

Myth 1: Marijuana Kills Brain Cells

Reefer Madness Campaign
Science has debunked the claim
Discourage teen/ adolescent use, can impact brain development

Myth 2: Marijuana is Bad For Your Lungs

Can protect your lungs
Threat of irritation for heavy smokers

Myth 3: You Cannot Become Addicted to Marijuana

Not physically, more psychological
1 in 10 users develop a psychological addiction
Addiction programs in Portugal

Myth 4: I Can Smoke Wherever I Want in California

Can’t smoke in public, $75 fine instead of incarceration

Myth 5: Marijuana is Sprayed With Pesticides

Not a lot, standard control amount
Illegal market marijuana carries higher danger

Myth 6: You Don’t Need a Medical Card Anymore

You don’t, but medical patients have access to better tax breaks and can grow more plants

Myth 7: Marijuana Stays in Your System for 30 Days

Depends person to person
There are cleansers to get THC out of your system
Hair samples last for 90 days

Myth 8: It is Easier For Kids to Get Marijuana Now That It’s Legal

Teen use dropped in Colorado
All dispensaries ID their customers
Child proof packaging

Myth 9: Marijuana Can Have a Negative Effect on Childbirth

Healthy moms should not consume
Rare cases where it could help, talk to your doctor
No harm if dad smokes (unless mom says otherwise)

Wrap Up/ Contact Information



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