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Alana Rossi
August 19, 2023

Cannabis co-ops are organizations of consumers or businesses that share resources. They first appeared in California as a way for patients to collectively cultivate medical marijuana under SB 420. While less common now, co-ops still exist in some states under strict regulations. Historically, co-ops allowed members to pool funds to grow and distribute cannabis.

“Small growers have formed a co-op to share costs and compete against larger operations.”

In the 1990s, California’s medical marijuana laws allowed patients to form co-ops to collectively cultivate and distribute cannabis. They provided access before dispensaries appeared. Co-ops let patients pool funds and share grow spaces. As legal markets emerged, most states phased out this model, but some do allow licensed co-ops.

Today's co-ops must follow strict rules. For example, California allows groups of 3 or more small cultivators to form co-ops and grow up to 4 acres collectively. They can share resources for cultivation, processing, packaging, marketing, etc. Other states also permit co-ops with designated licenses and regulations.

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