Since the revival of its Compassionate Care program in January 2019, Sespe Creek Collective (SCC) has saved its qualifying members nearly $15,000 in free or discounted product. And with recent changes to federal legislation, Ventura County’s leading medical and adult-use dispensary and delivery service hopes to expand the program.
“We’re an essential business for a reason,” noted Chelsea Sutula, Sespe Creek Collective CEO. “With Covid-19, not only are our Compassionate Care patients more vulnerable due to pre-existing conditions, they’re now facing added financial hardship. We’re grateful and humbled that we can give qualifying patients access to affordable or free medicine through this program.”
With the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 34, Sespe Creek Collective is now able to expand its Compassionate Care Program to provide up to $250 in free medicinal cannabis products per month to qualifying patients. The program serves roughly two dozen patients presently.
The CC program originated when Sespe Creek Collective was a delivery-only service. Once the law was passed in March, SCC was able to expand the program in a profound way and start receiving products through Metrc, a seed-to-sale/ track and trace program, designated specifically for medical patients.
“Distributors can’t simply pull stock from their commercial supply and designate it as a Compassionate Care product,” Sutula explained. “The product must be designated for compassionate care at the seed level and tracked as such throughout its lifecycle.”
Humboldt Brothers, a California-based grower pioneering the “farm to flower” movement of sustainable and transparent sourcing; Chemistry and Oasis are currently SCC’s Compassionate Care providers. The dispensary intends to grow its roster of participating vendors with the passage of SB 34 given the community’s growing need.
The Compassionate Care program provides a 20% discount to qualifying individuals in financial need and free cannabis products to qualifying patients with a medical recommendation. SCC accepts applications on a monthly basis. Applicants must demonstrate county residency, medical and financial need, and be a member of Sespe Creek Collective for at least 60 days prior to applying.
Patients who have a valid physician’s recommendation, government-issued ID, and are experiencing financial hardship, can apply for consideration by visiting sespe.org/patient-assistance-programs.