Field Trip to Berkeley’s Patient Care Collective Medical Cannabis Dispensary
Since Proposition 64 passed, legalizing recreational marijuana in California, buying medical marijuana has gotten more difficult. Many products in recreational dispensaries are just that – recreational. So I made a field trip to Berkeley’s last remaining strictly medical cannabis dispensary – the Patient’s Care Collective (PCC) – to see what they had to offer, and here is what I found:
High CBD Flower
As many patients know – I generally recommend flower strains that are high in CBD and low (less than 1%) in THC. PCC usually has at least one high CBD strain in stock, which is one more than most dispensaries, which typically have none. In stock this day was “In the Pines”, with CBD at 13.7% and THC at 4.2%. This strain might be useful for pain patients. But for those who are treating anxiety, they would be better off with a high CBD strain typically called ACDC, that is much lower in THC. PCC sometimes has a somewhat similar strain called “Continuum” which hovers around 16% CBD and less than 1 % CBD. If you use flower and see Continuum in 1 gram size at PCC, grab it.
THC Flower: There were no low THC strains (less than 10%) and therefore, unless you have taken Naturally Healing MD’s micro dosing class or are comfortable with high THC, I wouldn’t recommend any of PCCs THC flower offerings. For those who do know how to measure their dose of “bud”, PCC had an affordable Indica strain selling for $8 a gram, which might be useful for those looking for an affordable sleep aide.
For those using Care By Design products, PCC carries all their sublingual tinctures – 18:1, 8:1, 4:1, 2:1, and 1:1. Care By Design no longer produces a spray bottle, and everything is now in drops. Alas, there is no other spray dispenser product at PCC with suitable dosing for most patients, unless you are using 5mg of THC or more.
PCC carries one of the most economical products for high dose sublingual CBD users – Amber Alchemy’s Remedy, which is their high CBD, low THC product. It comes in a 1 ml syringe delivering around 650 mg of CBD and 35 mg of THC for $70. The cost per mg of CBD is about 11 cents (before taxes), putting it on the low end for CBD products. The syringe system takes some getting used to, but is useful for CBD doses of 7mg per dose or more. All of Amber Alchemy products are whole plant extracts.
For those using edibles, PCC carried a small selection of low dose products, including Satori chocolates with high CBD (CBD 3.0mg/THC 0.3mg per piece) or all THC (CBD 0mg/THC 2.0mg per piece).
Total sales tax on all products in Berkeley is 27.5%. PCC offers a 10% discount to seniors or students (before taxes), a 3% “Rewards” program and $6 off for new patients. Those who have a “State” card (issued by the county upon presentation of a medical recommendation and payment of a fee) pay lower, but still appreciable, taxes of 18.25%.
No doubt about it: the price of medicinal cannabis has risen dramatically under Proposition 64.
PCC is downright cozy. Unlike all the other dispensaries I have visited, this is a low volume, small, two counter operation that spares patients from the pressures of long lines and endless product choices. The budtender who I grilled during our one hour visit was patient, thoughtful, and eager to be helpful. Parking is available behind PCC, accessible from Parker Street.
PCC strives to serve the community as a medicinal dispensary. For those seeking high CBD bud, affordable grams, low cost/high dose sublingual CBD, and a low key, less stressful environment than high volume dispensaries, PCC will meet your needs. Right next door to PCC’s medicinal dispensary is their recreational dispensary – in case you want a taste of the other side.
In an effort to assist patients, Naturally Healing MD does provide our new patients with specific product recommendations. Because of the highly changing marketplace, however, Naturally Healing MD cannot track product availability at local dispensaries. Even the dispensary websites (list) that provide product listings cannot guarantee that the product will be on the shelf when patients arrive. Given more time to settle into the regulatory framework that Proposition 64 necessitated, I hope product inventories at dispensaries will become steadier. Until then, you might need to spend some time tracking down your medicine!
Cannabis and Aging
For those who were not able to attend the San Francisco Public Library series on Cannabis and Aging this summer, you can find my talk on the video below.
Fall and Winter Lecture Series
Medical Cannabis for Multiple Sclerosis
October 10, 2018
12:30pm Albany Library
1247 Marin Ave.
Albany, CA 94706
Cannabis & Aging
November 13, 2018
7:15pm Rossmoor Medical Marijuana Club
Hillside Clubhouse Diablo
3400 Golden Rain Rd
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
Cannabis & Aging
January 23, 2019
6:30pm San Francisco Public Library
500 Cortland Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94110
Cannabis & Aging
February 26, 2019
6pm Berkeley Public Library
N0rth Berkeley Branch
1170 The Alameda
Berkeley, CA 94707