CALIFORNIA: Laboratories that specialize in pot testing. Security companies that only guard dispensaries. Chefs that just make edibles for medical marijuana patients.
Businesses that cater to cannabis are starting to flourish.
“There’s all kinds of companies out there,” said Lanny Swerdlow, a medical marijuana patient and advocate from Whitewater. “When you go to a collective, there’s pill bottles, pipes … If there’s a market, someone takes advantage of it.”
Collective Protective Services, based in Chino, focuses on providing security for cannabis clubs. It started with three employees in 2010 and now has 100 that protect more than 60 collectives across Southern California, including Desert Organic Solutions, a legal dispensary in north Palm Springs.
KC Azubuike, president of Collective Protective Services, started working unofficially as a security guard for dispensaries in Riverside about six years ago.
The 24-year-old’s company is now booming. He’s branched across state lines, securing his first contract in Colorado last week, and plans to expand and move headquarters to Los Angeles.
“I found a niche and was pretty good at it,” he said. “Working in a dispensary as a guard is very different than anyone else.”
Collective security guards protect volunteers and patients, and they learn intake procedures.
Locally, there are a handful of edible companies that have launched with some success and help provide patients with more options than lighting up.
Mark Silver of Palm Springs started The 420 Kitchen four years ago after he baked a cannabis cookie for his friend with cancer to help her deal with chemotherapy side effects — and she loved it.
“Whenever somebody goes to a doctor to get a recommendation to be a patient, they always say ingesting edibles are the best way to partake. It lasts much longer, and it’s more beneficial for you. It has more healing properties than smoking does,” Silver said.
He provides C.A.P.S and Organic Solutions of the Desert with his edibles, and also delivers them to dispensaries in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County and the San Fernando Valley. It’s his only job.