Seriously ill San Luis Obispo County residents desperate for medical marijuana no longer have to drive to Bakersfield, Santa Barbara, or Santa Cruz to obtain their herbal relief. Charles Lynch opened the Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers (CCCC) in Atascadero on January 9, and he insists that the business operates in compliance with state and local ordinances, namely Proposition 215 and Senate Bill 420.
The City of Atascadero had issued a moratorium against medical marijuana dispensaries last year, but that temporary ban expired in November. Lynch is careful to point out, however, that CCCC is not a cannabis dispensary, but rather a â€œcaregiversâ€™ collective providing medical service to seriously ill patients.â€?
Charging patients for a medical service rather than for the actual product opens a loophole that allows Lynch to provide qualified patients with a service available throughout most of California. SLO is one of a few counties in the state that has not implemented a program for monitoring the distribution of medical marijuana. â€œI want to bring everyone together,â€? Lynch says, â€œand get them working on a solution.â€?
Tucked in the back corner of a strip mall on El Camino Real, next door to Uncle Edâ€™s Outfitters gun shop, the CCCC keeps a very low profile with its tinted windows and minimal signage. Lynch, who suffers from chronic migraines, declines to comment on many of the specifics of his business, citing the California Patient Privacy Rights. But he does say that word of mouth is spreading fast.