MEET THE LADIES BEHIND LAPCG - The DISPENSARY for the community
LAPCG (Los Angeles Patients and Caregivers) is a not-for-profit medical cannabis dispensary in the heart of West Hollywood that has been serving legally-qualified patients since 2004. LAPCG pride themselves on provide safe access to medicine for patients in the community suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and a range of other illnesses. We caught up with a few of the women behind the scenes who are helping make a difference in community.
Meet Michelle - Managing Director at LAPCG
How did you end up as the Managing Director of LAPCG?
Before working at LAPCG, I was working as a behavioral therapist with teens and young adults. Most of my clients were on the spectrum for autism.
A long-time friend of mine came to me at the right time in my career about four years ago and poached me and now here I am. I never thought I would end up in cannabis. I remember telling my family and they were like, "What? You're gonna do what?" I knew basics about the plant before but I didn't understand how much of a miracle medicine it is and I've come to be a strong believer in it. Now I've eased my family into it and they use topicals and feel the benefits of it which is great.
What have you learned?
I have an understanding of the natural therapeutic way that it helps alleviate a lot of things that we use pharmaceuticals to fix and the cultural aspect it really interests me.
For me cannabis is more of a social thing, but on a rare occasion. Cannabis is a lot less harmful than it's often made out to be. I feel like it promotes a sense of peace and harmony in our culture, and anything that will do that, I'm on board with.
How would you describe the general vibe of LAPCG?
We definitely try to be a liaison for the medical side and we pride ourselves on being a friendly and knowledgeable dispensary. That may not necessarily be the vibe at every other dispensary that you visit but we definitely come from a place of being a member of the community and uplifting and supporting the community by promoting wellness and well-being around us. We try to live it and kind of give it to everyone in hopes that that will perpetuate outward.
It definitely feels like family vibes in here.
Yeah, from the staff to the people who come in, we like to treat everyone like a member of our extended family. We know what's going on in their life, what's good and what's not so good. I really love my team here and I think because of that we are able to create a place where everyone feels welcome and has safe access to medicine.
What are your hopes for the future of LAPCG and the industry in general?
My hope for LAPCG in particular is that we keep propelling forward and continue to be innovators when it comes to dispensaries. Setting the trend for what's expected from quality to staff expertise. We want to make sure that we are giving good information to patients, staff and whoever is interested in learning. Even if you don't use cannabis, we are happy to talk to you about it.
Meet Delilah - Budtender at LAPCG
I've been here a week and half. I was working in the car business before and I wanted a more fulfilling job. It's an awesome medicine. I have a lot of family members who are addicted to prescription medicine and it's so sad because it may be too late for them, but working here, I feel like I can maybe save someone else.
Patients' stories here make my job so fulfilling. The community looks at me as a therapist almost, and I try and help them see the better side of what they're going through.
Meet Jen - General Manager at LAPCG
What's the best thing about being a young woman working in cannabis right now?
I feel really fortunate being in the position that I'm in at this age. I've met a lot of really interesting people, made many great connections and have access to so much information.
It's been an excellent learning experience on so many levels. I love the diversity of my work. I do managing, digital marketing, social media content, just like a little bit of everything so I feel like I'm strengthening my knowledge of all aspects of running a business. I'm learning a lot more here than I think I would anywhere else.
Do you think that's because the industry is growing so rapidly and you're almost writing your own rules?
There aren't any rules, we are all changing them because it's such a new industry that's changing constantly. I got into cannabis right before the real hype of it a little over two years ago so it's been pretty crazy. I've moved pretty quickly up the ladder here at LAPCG which I'm super grateful for.
What were you doing before this? Were you in school?
I was at school, I studied Fine Art and my minor was in PR. I never ever thought I would end up in cannabis. I rarely smoked it, now I smoke almost every day! I still produce and make my own work and work with an artist in my own time because it keeps me grounded and inspired. Cannabis has played a great role in my creative process so I'm glad I have access to it. I'm glad I gave it a chance because it's taken my life to really interesting places.
What are your hope for the future of cannabis when it becomes recreational in California?
LAPCG is one of the oldest operating dispensaries, we’ve been here for about 13 years now and we are all about the community. Our patients are like family. As the laws change in the new year, my hope is that there is a balance between boutique brands and corporate brands. I don’t want people who are just jumping into cannabis with a lot of money pushing these grassroots people out. We still need the history and the culture, because if all of that is pushed out that’s when you start to lose quality and meaning. That’s when you forget about the medicinal benefits of this ancient plant that has been used forever. I just don’t want the story to die.
7213 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Monday - Saturday 11am - 8pm
Sunday 12pm - 7pm