Best Collective - 2012
The American Collective
As with a lot of storefront dispensaries in Orange County, the American Collective (voted 2011's Best Dispensary-Central OC) found itself on the wrong side of the Obama administration's crackdown on California's medical marijuana earlier this year. On Jan. 17, the DEA raided a trio of Costa Mesa cannabis collectives, including this one, and arrested several people, none of whom ended up being charged with a crime. City officials also sent warning letters to several other clubs, and landlords of all the locations were threatened with legal action. As a result, the American Collective, which was one of the few clubs in town that actually paid living wages and provided health benefits to employees, had no choice but to close its Cabrillo Street walk-in facility. But deliveries continue, and while that's still the case, there's still hope for people too sick (or otherwise incompetent) to grow their own medication!