Local Laws Cut Cannabis Access for California Retirement Community


Laguna Woods Village is an age-restricted retirement community in Southern California where, until recently, it was legal to sell medical cannabis. That changed on the first day of 2019, though, when an ordinance passed by the City of Laguna Woods banned all cannabis businesses from operating within the city limits.

The new sales ban has been a blow to members of the Laguna Woods Village community, many of  whom use medical cannabis as a treatment for various ailments such as chronic pain and depression.

Given that Laguna Woods is notable for having the county’s second highest death toll for opioid overdoses, the ban on cannabis businesses is more than inconvenient. For patients suffering from chronic pain, it has the potential to turn dangerous.

To learn more about the situation as it stands, Leafly spent some time with Lonnie Painter. Painter was the director of the Laguna Woods Medical Cannabis Collective, a medical cannabis collective that was forced to shut its doors this January. Painter plans to fight the ban, but in the meantime, patients in Laguna Woods Village will have to do without the services the Collective once provided to members of the community.

In the video above, you’ll see our discussion with Lonnie, as well as testimonies from medical patients who are asking the city to reconsider its ban.


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