Palm Springs marijuana collective grows quickly

One of three legal medical marijuana dispensaries in Palm Springs has grown to more than 1,300 members, despite being in business for less than three months, the collective’s president announced today.

“We started out with only six members, and I never could have imagined we would grow so quickly,” said Gary Cherlin, president of Desert Organic Solutions at 19486 Newhall St.

The dispensary boasts 1,380 members, with a goal to reach 3,000 by the end of the year, according to Cherlin.

“We have a large percentage of patients with cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis, and I’ve been getting tremendous feedback from them in terms of just how necessary this facility is to their overall well being,” he said.

The nonprofit opened June 5 after receiving a permit from the Palm Springs City Council to operate legally in the city.

Membership is open to patients with a physician’s recommendation that the person qualifies under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

CannaHelp, 505 E. Industrial Place, opened in May, and Organic Solutions of the Desert, 560 Williams Road, is expected to open sometime next month.

In March 2009, the council voted to allow two collectives, or cooperatives, in compliance with state law to operate within the city’s three industrial zones. That ordinance was amended in June to allow a third dispensary to open.

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