The Collective That Puts the Customer First: An Interview with Emily & RJ, Co-Founders of The Guild CA

What does the Guild do?

The Guild CA aims to help promote healthy living through cannabis and hemp education, product testing and a variety of health and wellness services. We are dedicated to providing others with the tools necessary to create and sustain healthy, successful and happy lives. By offering both traditional and subscription based delivery, The Guild provides a completely customizable experience to meet each patient’s personal needs.
This means no more waiting in line at the dispensary, or sitting at home waiting for your medicine to arrive. Our patients schedule their delivery date and time in advance, so there is no guesswork involved. Everything people do in their lives is scheduled, so why not schedule your medical marijuana delivery? The Guild assures its members that they are getting the highest quality products on the market through their lab-testing process. While our main goal is to provide our members a unique subscription based delivery service, we also offer same day al a carte delivery.

What lead you to choose a non-profit collective model for you business rather than a traditional for-profit approach?

Currently, in order to operate legally in the state of California, all medical marijuana collectives are filed as non-profit.

You mentioned CBD products, as well as THC products, what is the difference?

THC is generally related to the psychoactive properties associated with cannabis, whereas CBD is considered to be non-psychoactive and is believed to have a wider range of medical potential. The main difference is where they come from – THC is derived from marijuana, while CBD can be derived from either marijuana or hemp. Since, hemp is legal in the United States, under the federal drug act of 1970, Hemp-derived CBD products are legally sold throughout the 50 states. The founders of The Guild CA are also involved in a number of hemp-based ventures, designed to promote the true healing power of cannabis.

How do you personalize the experience of medical cannabis for each of your members?

When joining The Guild CA, new members are asked to fill out a basic intake form that helps create their patient profile. This system allows member consultants from The Guild to learn a little bit about each new member of the collective. Your personalized patient profile is used to get a basic idea of your likes and dislikes, allergies, etc. The Guild concentrates its efforts on creating real relationships with its members by providing them with a dedicated member consultant, who is responsible for recommending various strains and products based on their individual personalized wants and needs. The Guild believes that by creating a routine that includes similar cannabis products, our members will become more educated about cannabis and can therefore make more educated decisions when deciding what cannabis products to use.

Do you recommend particular products to your customers based on condition?

The Guild wants people to be able to rely on them to provide educated information on what products will help them with the specific ailments they are facing. The Guild CA wants its members to focus on achieving desired effects, rather than choosing popular strains or products by producers they may have heard of before. It is important people get past the allure of specific strains, in order to appreciate the full medicinal properties of marijuana. Each member has their own individual needs and it is important to understand why and how they are using cannabis to medicate. The Guild CA strongly believes in recommending products that will benefit our members, not brands that may be popular in the industry. While we carry specific producers, we decide what products to carry based on the quality of the cannabis and the results of the lab-tests. We are always looking for new products and producers to strengthen their already diverse menu. We encourage producers to work together in order to create truly medicinal marijuana. We like to say that the cannabis industry is not a competition, it’s a collective.

You emphasize marijuana education and normalization. Do you do any community outreach to spread your message that marijuana is medicine?

Education is the most important aspect in the attempt to normalize marijuana. Informing the general public on the real medicinal value of cannabis is a challenge that all of us face as industry leaders. We are focused on providing as much information about medical marijuana as we can to work towards normalization and eventually legalization. We love participating at events because it allows us to speak to a larger, more diverse population about the true properties of medical marijuana. People need accurate information to make informed decisions about proper and safe marijuana consumption. The Guild CA plans on being a highly trusted resource as the industry continues to grow.

What standards do you hold all of your products to?

Unfortunately, due to the lack of standards in California, finding high quality, reliable, and affordable medical marijuana is harder than you think. Products are often improperly or confusingly labeled due to the lack of regulation and standardized practices. The industry as a whole has forgotten one of its most important roles in the community as an educational resource in terms of marijuana education. Producers have left it up to the consumer to educate themselves when there should be easier access to information. Due to the lack of industry wide standards in California, we attempt to hold our products to the highest standards possible. Our internal standards are set to compete with the strict industry practices used in Colorado. As we prepare for legalization, we want all of our products to already meet the standards that will be put in place. In order to really find out about the products we carry, we get everything lab tested to assure our members that they are properly informed and educated about all of the products we offer.

How do you see the medical marijuana industry changing in the coming years? How do you see The Guild keeping up with such a fast changing industry?

There is going to be a clear separation between recreational and medical marijuana.  We are hoping to see a full-scale medical marijuana legalization in the coming years. You won’t be able to just walk into a store and get medical marijuana products over the counter. You will need the proper paper work to get a medicinal marijuana prescription, just like you need a prescription from a doctor to get “behind the counter” medicine. When it becomes legal nation wide, there will have to be specific steps, just like there are for getting any medication that needs a prescription from a doctor. If marijuana is considered to have medicinal qualities, people of all ages would be able to have true safe access to the medicine they need. Full-scale legalization should still have a separation of medicinal programs and recreational ones. Not everyone is looking to use cannabis medicinally, but the industry should still set higher standards for all products on the market. People should have real safe access to medicine and they should be able to rely on the dosing listed on the packaging. Low licensing fees with high standards will be the best way to regulate the industry.

Do you have any tips for first time medical marijuana users?

We recommend starting slow with low dose products. It is important for our members to find products, through our customized curated services that will benefit them medicinally. This includes educating our members about proper dosing and using internal standards to assure that none of our patients are over-medicating. The Guild encourages its patients to figure out proper dosing in a safe manner with the help of our member consultants. As we like to say, you can always eat more, but you can never eat less.

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