More than 100 people lined up outside a marijuana dispensary in the San Fernando Valley this morning, lured by the offer of free cannabis for the first 100 patients.
The nonprofit dispensary in Canoga Park, Roscoe’s Compassionate Collective, advertised the offer last week in Kush L.A., a monthly cannabis magazine, with a pull-out coupon for patients with marijuana medical cards and updated prescriptions. Since then, the collective has fielded hundreds of calls from people essentially asking the same question: Is this for real?
JT Wiegman, 37, the owner’s son, said it is indeed for real and as of 11 a.m., they began giving 3.5 grams of marijuana, worth $55, to each recipient. The shop has been open only three months, and though Wiegman admitted the giveaway was in part a promotion, he said that wasn’t the main point.
Through the pot promotion, the dispensary hopes to draw attention to collectives that overcharge and lack compassion, Wiegman said. He said there are too many people in the industry looking to make a fast buck.”I’m showing what true compassion is for this industry, for all the patients that really need the medicine,” he said. “I think collectives in general have not done a good job of taking this professional, we are a pharmacy and we have medicines that are legal.”
At 11 a.m., patients began filing into the lobby, filled with incense and Bob Marley music. Outside, those still waiting were entertained by volunteers conducting raffles.
“We love it, reggae all day,” Wiegman said of the music.
Less than a mile away, another giveaway was going on this morning — pastries at Starbucks. Wiegman said there was no connection between the two, though he didn’t mind the idea: “Starbucks and RCC,” he said.