It’s been twenty-four years since California voted to become the first state to make medical Cannabis happen.

The passage of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Prop 215) granted Californians the right and ability to get a doctor’s recommendation to use Cannabis as medicine. Since 1996, it’s been a treacherous road to earning credibility, respect, and peace for many activists and advocates alike. The brave women and men that decided to risk their lives in prison to grow medicine for AIDS and cancer patients are considered our patron Cannabis saints. Some are well known for their legendary activism and loudness. While others were quietly pushing the agenda forward, so that everyone can enjoy many of the freedoms we have today in medical and adult use states.

The raids and no local ordinances made the early days risky.

The threat of operating a medical Cannabis collective in the early days of “dispensaries” was a real thing. The DEA was furious and fast to smash and grab cash donations and medicine from clubs that were operating under the guidelines of California state bill 420. It became a weekly story on the news that collectives were being raided in 2006/07. During these nightmare raids patients and collective staff/volunteers were met with teams of officers wearing full tactical gear and rifles. It’s a terrifying experience and in many cases the DEA would also raid the collective’s operators’ homes as well with the same force of terror. It was a sketchy time to be a medical Cannabis patient and collective operators alike. It’s been a rocky road for years, but with time and hard work from activists there are now 11 legal and 33 medical cannabis states!

Fast forward to the climate we are at right now.

Under mandate from the Governor Newsom, California is asking non-essential businesses to close their doors and/or operate under limited restrictive practices to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). Everyone is encouraged to stay in their homes and reduce the spread through “social distancing” with people outside your home and through extra hygiene measures that will help eliminate more people contracting the illness.  All bars, eat-in restaurants, fitness centers, entertainment centers and more are required to cease operation. Restaurants can offer pick-up or delivery service at this time under careful handling. Grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential businesses remain open under restrictive precautionary measures.

 It’s a scary time when the government asks the world as we know it to stop operating.

Staying home and quarantining your family is your best choice to help reduce your risk of contracting this virus. With all that said, it was surprising and gratifying to hear and read that California and other state governors included Cannabis dispensaries as “essential businesses” and allowed to stay open! Finally, Cannabis is getting the respect and reference it deserves as being considered essential. That’s not to say that of course these states are also benefitting from the situation tax-wise. The state of California has been struggling to achieve its tax revenue goals with insanely high taxes on adult-use and medical Cannabis since legal sales became a reality in 2018. The numbers have been less than anticipated for a number of reasons, mostly due to over regulation and taxation.

All things aside, it’s a joy to finally see Cannabis getting respect and consideration more than it has before from government.

Purelife Alternative Wellness Center was established in 2006 during that turbulent time of raids on dispensaries. We asked Yamileth Bolanos one of the founders about her experience as an early operator in Los Angeles and the exemption of Cannabis dispensary operations during this Coronavirus crisis to share her thoughts.

“We went from raid Wednesdays to fourteen years later being considered as an essential business; we’ve come a long way baby! Cannabis is essential,” Yami exclaims.

Purelife is operating and open under strict and careful measures to ensure the safety of their customers and their staff. Curbside pick-up service for online orders are in effect and delivery services will be available in coming days. If you are in the Los Angeles/ San Fernando Valley area, be sure to discover this hidden gem located at 20751 Marilla Street in Chatsworth, California. Their level of medical Cannabis knowledge, experience and service is Cannapolitan approved.

Never has there been a more prudent time to use Cannabis for medicinal use, especially for anxiety and stress reduction.

It’s going to be a long “shut in” for us all in states that have mandated stay-at-home rules in place, so why not make it more enjoyable! There are many wonderful Cannabis dispensaries that are finding ways to keep everyone safe while providing rigorously tested, licensed Cannabis products available to those in need in states that have medical and adult-use dispensaries.

From a personal perspective, I remember the first doctor I visited to get my first official recommendation for medical Cannabis in 2006.

When I asked “where do I go now?” after he gave me the paperwork, he said “they’re everywhere and if one closes down, seven more open up.” In Los Angeles during 2006/07, he wasn’t kidding! I walked into my first collective that day and was blown away with how beautiful the store was and how “open” everything felt. The selection of buds was incredible, the ability to smell and see them before you donated your money back to the collective for the cost of the medicine was awesome! The whole experience was like a dream come true!

Cannabis freedom and the future.

Having the freedom to go to a store and purchase your Cannabis is truly a dream come true for many of us activists and advocates that also know what it was like before and we will never forget. For this reason, no matter what stage of “legalization” any of us are at, we have to continue to fight for this plant and the people that want it in their lives. There are states that have over and under regulated their medical and adult-use programs to the point that it hurts patients and consumers. The ultimate goal as an activist would be to have Cannabis removed from the controlled substances list. For those of you reading this from a state or country that does not have any form of legal Cannabis, just know that the future is bright and one day, this dream will too be your reality. When the entire planet is no longer at risk of being punished for using the miracle Cannabis plant, what a beautiful world it’s going to be! Stay safe out there everyone!

Make sure to check out our feature on Cannabis safety during viral times.


Here is a list of Cannapolitan recommended dispensaries in California that are offering curbside pick-up and/or delivery services of Cannabis at this time:

Purelife Alternative Wellness Center

20751 Marilla Street

Chatsworth, CA 91311

@purelife_sfv on Instagram



NXTLVL Delivery

Top shelf delivery service for the bay area cities including:

Alameda, Berkeley, Contra Costa County, Emeryville,

north bay area, Oakland, San Francisco, San Leandro,

Hayward, and San Jose areas.

@_nxt.lvl_ on Instagram

Emerald Perspective

100 W. Pleasant Valley Rd.

Port Hueneme, CA 93041

@greenlikeanemerald on Instagram

Dr Greenthumb’s

Breal of Cypress Hill has you covered! Currently there are 5 locations throughout the state of California.


Dr. Greenthumb’s Sylmar

12751 Foothill Blvd.
Sylmar, California US 91342
Dr. Greenthumb’s Downtown LA
2011 Pasadena Ave
Los Angeles, California US 90031
Dr. Greenthumb’s Sacramento
2201 Northgate Blvd
Sacramento, California US 95833
Dr. Greenthumb’s San Francisco
3139 Mission Street
San Francisco, California US 94110
Dr. Greenthumb’s Eureka
1672 Myrtle Ave
Eureka, California US 95501

City Compassionate Caregivers

2235 E 7th Street
Los Angeles, California US 90023