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Aundre Speciale began her cannabis advocacy in 1990 when her neighbor, Jack Herer, asked her to join him on the Hemp Bus, touring California promoting hemp for fuel, food, fiber, fun, and medicine. Thus began her lifelong love and dedication to cannabis reform. Aundre has been involved in countless cannabis campaigns and projects, including work as a regional organizer for the campaign against the federal hemp food ban and key organizer on behalf of defendants in the first federal trials of medical cannabis growers. Aundre is a founding member and chapter coordinator of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the nation’s leading medical cannabis patients’ advocacy organization.

In her work with ASA, Aundre developed and initiated its popular peer counseling program, gathered data for lawsuits protecting and expanding patients’ rights, provided best practices training for dispensary operators, and much more. Aundre served on the board of the Marijuana Policy Project, a group leading the effort in Washington, D.C. to replace marijuana prohibition with a system of sensible regulation and control, for three years, holding the Vice Chair position.

In 2004 Aundre’s desire to introduce a dispensary model focused on compassion, patient services, and community responsibility led her to open the first of many dispensaries across the state of California, including the earliest dispensaries in San Francisco, Sacramento, South Lake Tahoe, and the first at Venice Beach in Los Angeles. In 2007, Aundre became Director one of the oldest collectives in the state, Cannabis Buyers Club of Berkeley, which has been in operation since 1996.

Her model for dispensing medical cannabis includes opening community centers that provide hundreds of classes and services per month free of charge to both patients and the entire local community, working closely with community service providers and city government to create enlightened cannabis policy, and funding major cannabis research and reform projects. She currently shares her vast operational experience by sitting on the boards of a number of licensed dispensaries throughout California. She is the mother of two amazing warrior children, Electra and Will. Aundre’s philosophy is that love is the best business practice of all.

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