Located in Diamond Springs, California, Pure Life Collective is a place for edibles and high quality medicine. Pure Life Collective fulfilled the community needs for access to safe medicine, when they opened their doors in August 2011. The company started off with two flower strains and a few pre-rolls, shortly thereafter edibles were voted in by the collective members as a much wanted positive addition to Pure Life’s inventory. Since that time they’ve grown exponentially.
Pure life is situated in a rural community at the foothills of the Eldorado National Forest and it is on the way from California to Lake Tahoe, which helps their business with 10 to 15% of their customers being tourists and passing through traffic .
Whitney, a shop manager for Pure Life Collective said, “In the beginning we didn’t spend money to advertise, so patients in the community weren’t aware we were open. Whitney added “but once we became established, word of mouth got around about how we treat our members and our community, and collective members were happy to be a part of that.”
Seniors make up the majority of their patients (60%), with 40% middle age, and 20% in the 18-35 demographic. The majority of customers are local return patients. Whitney goes on,”Our patients really love us, we are not a fly by night collective, we’ve established ourselves here, we care about our patients and we’re here to stay!” Part of showing how much they care about their patients includes free grow classes (beginning and advanced), as well as edible making classe, a spiritual class, with plans for yoga in the near future. Whitney said, “we are helping our members know what their medicine is all about. We even are helping them grow their own medicine so they can save money.”
It was apparent, once I entered Pure Life Collective’s lobby and observed their patients, they were very lucky Pure Life had opened their doors and were providing relief for people who need it desperately in the form of cannabis medicine.
Whitney said, “We have a lot of retired people in our community living nearby, and a lot of the doctors in our community do believe in cannabis, therefore they let the patients know we’re here, and some Doctors send patients to us so we can help them.”
I asked Whitney how she felt about so many patients actually needing cannabis medicine, she said, “Scary, and nice! Scary because doctors are still pushing so many prescription drugs, but nice because they also support the green movement and cannabis, which has lot to offer and the doctors in this community are realizing that cannabis is way better than popping a pill.”
Whitney suffers from a disease called gastroparesis, which shuts down her digestive system. She describes the unbearable nausea it gives her, “like having morning sickness every day of my life. If it wasn’t for cannabis, I would be on four different pills to reduce my vomiting, and I would be in the hospital every other week getting fluids. It kind of gets me emotional because if it wasn’t available, my life would be completely changed. I like to tell people that their lives can also be completely changed and they may not have to be on these strong medicines that give you horrible side effects.”
Whitney prefers to medicate by vaporizing, but when she’s really nauseous bud flowers is the only things that helps, and for her stomach cramps a low dose edible is perfect. She tries to avoid smoking and share with the collective members that there are safer ways to medicate. Whitney has created her own all natural cannabis infused topical line called Dabba,. She credits Pure Life for being able to start Dabba.
Whitney, a former law enforcement employee said, “Law enforcement has it wrong. I believe lack of proper education about cannabis, and ignorance to what cannabis is about are the problems with law enforcement attitudes. They are trained differently. I went through post certification so I know how they’re trained on drugs, and how they classify them and I think this is not appropriate. The more time, and the more arrests I saw on cannabis, made me realize it wasn’t right.” Whitney left after witnessing a violent crime, “I said, ‘This is it.’ I need to be able to make changes in my life and other people’s lives for good.”
Pure Life gives back in many ways. They have a compassion program where patients, for whatever reason their hard time is, can come in and get some free medicine, because they believe no one should go without their medicine and be in pain. They have a recycling program to help the environment with their containers, and they’ve sponsored several charities like ‘Relay for Life’ and charities for autistic children, and they say they will sponsor valid causes brought to them.
When I asked Whitney what her thoughts are on passing recreational cannabis laws in California, she said, “I think that would be amazing. I think everybody should have cannabis in their life or the availability to it, as long as they’re 18 or older. They have access to cigarettes and alcohol which destroy people’s lives daily. Why can’t they have this, that actually helps and saves people’s lives?”
In regards to California’s edible regulations or lack thereof, Whitney says, “I think California is taking a step back and waiting to see what the other states are doing, so they can piggy-back, which, hopefully is good. But it’s a big undertaking, we all know that, but the sooner we do it, the better for everybody.”
Locally, Pure Life recently had a big win with their laws. The Board of Supervisors recently passed an ordinance to let the handful of established dispensaries in El Dorado County stay and continue to operate. Serving a network of over 5,000 patients and 100-200 patients a day, Pure Life offers a range of edibles regardless if they are competing brands. Everyone has a different body, and everyone’s chemistry is different. One medicine may not work the same for the next patient, and they acknowledge this, letting the patient have the option of choosing from an array of edibles.
Pure Life Collective
537 Pleasant Valley Diamond Springs, CA 95619