Since both medical and recreational marijuana were legalized in California as Proposition 64 was voter approved during the November 2016 election dispensaries have started popping up throughout the state. A new downtown business called Riverbank Cannabis Collective opened its doors in late December 2018 and is open daily from noon to 7 p.m. at 6609 Third St., Riverbank.
Although the issue of legalizing cannabis and allowing dispensaries to conduct business within city limits has been a controversial topic, the City of Riverbank after discussion and debate at several city council meetings, and research, approved two dispensaries to open. Riverbank Cannabis Collective Director Danielle Gravelle explained that the entire staff is extremely knowledgeable about the products and are there to assist people in finding the right product for their ailments.
“For us all cannabis use, whether you use it recreationally or medicinally, is medicinal,” stated Gravelle. “There is some kind of benefit from the Cannabinoids profiles interacting with your endocannabinoid system so what we really like to focus on in this dispensary is empowering people to learn more about what cannabis actually does and why you have the reactions. That way you can make more educated choices. Because everybody is different and everybody has different reactions so what works for you might not work for the next guy. So honing in the right regimen for yourself is what we are all about.”
Gravelle handles the day to day operations at the business and has been in the industry for about five years. She has a more traditional background with some time spent in the banking industry, retail and for a short stint was a teacher. After having her own health issues and being in severe pain along with experiencing nausea, Gravelle was looking for an alternative because the prescription medications were not working. So she tried cannabis and it helped her with the pain, nausea, and anxiety and she was then able to eliminate all the prescriptions.
“I never thought I would end up in this industry but I had my own health issues and I was all straight western medicine,” added Gravelle. “I never used cannabis. I tried it once when I was 18 and I hated it. I started trying to find anything that would help with the severe pain and nausea.”
Through the research that she did she found cannabis to not only help with physical health but mental health as well. In 2015 she started working for A Therapeutic Alternative in Sacramento and really learned the business and became more educated about cannabis, including the different products and effects.
“Kimberly is the director there (A Therapeutic Alternative) so she has been in the industry and activism for decades,” said Gravelle. “She has had that grassroots community based organization even as you grow. I really was blessed to start off there because I got the best education in cannabis. It starts with putting patients first.”
They also refer to the patients as their members and customers.
With the staff having to take a nine course curriculum prior to shadowing someone on the floor, they emphasize the importance of having the knowledge of the product and basic human anatomy along with the effects for the best customer care.
“We have gotten really good feedback so far from the community,” expressed Gravelle. “At first people were hesitant of it being right downtown and we have just had nothing but positive feedback, we hear that we have a great vibe that it feels really comfortable, that it doesn’t look like a normal dispensary.”
Although the location is not a franchise they do have sister sites in Dixon and Davis with a new location in Modesto set to open in the spring.
There are many options that they offer their guests including oils, topical, flowers, edibles, pre-rolls, cartridges, capsules, and traditional items in a variety of specifically selected brands. They also have traditional accessories.
“We are very heavily medically focused,” added Gravelle. “We are seeing mostly older folks and people that want to learn more of the educational or the medicinal benefits of cannabis and we are going to educate them.”
Guests must sign in, have valid identification and must be 21 years old. No one under 18 is allowed.