A medical marijuana organization in the Los Angeles area has come up with a novel idea: Run a weekly shuttle that transports MMJ patients with cannabis cards from a centralized location directly to dispensaries, free of charge.
The service – which launched last weekend – makes it easier and more convenient for patients to get medical cannabis, which in turn benefits local dispensaries. It could serve as a model for other cities and organizations across the country that want to reduce the barriers to MMJ access.
Cannabis Clubs United With the Community started the shuttle in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles as a way to help patients avoid some of the hassles involved in visiting a dispensary, such as finding parking, navigating traffic or walking long distances. It also aims to ease the concerns of other businesses located near the cluster of dispensaries in the area, which complain that MMJ patients are taking up too many parking spots.
CCUWC promises a “safe, secure, confidential and comfortable” round-trip ride in a 10-seat van, and patients who use the service get coupons and discounts to local businesses. The first trip last Saturday was reportedly a success, with four patients using the shuttle to visit the main area that’s home to several dispensaries.
The shuttle will run every Saturday afternoon, leaving from the east parking lot of Eagle Rock Park, 7550 N. Figueroa St.
This type of service could make sense in other communities with a high concentration of dispensaries in one area. If local organizations aren’t interested, MMJ businesses could band together to offer the shuttle service themselves, hoping to increase overall patient traffic for everyone.
But it can be a tricky proposition, and there are some risks involved. CCUWC faced hurdles tied to DMV permits and licenses, which delayed the service and at one point threatened to sink it entirely. Local officials also warned that the CCUWC could become a target in the growing federal crackdown on medical cannabis.