Christine De La Rosa, CEO of The People’s Dispensary, is a transplanted Texan living and thriving in Oakland, CA. She is a social entrepreneur who has spent most of her adult life building businesses that creatively engage and employ the local communities that surround them. Two restaurants, two event production companies, an art gallery, a retail shop and a salon were part of her trajectory that led to co-owning a successful cannabis businesses in both California and Oregon. She is a well-respected advocate and activist for the chronically ill, people of color, women, formerly incarcerated and the LGBTQ community.
Christine is passionate about the industry that saved her life. After 15 years as a database architect and at the very moment when she was at the top of her tech career she almost died from complications of undiagnosed Lupus. Bedridden, she spent five years unable to work or perform rudimentary functions due to her illness and the synthetic medications prescribed by her doctors. In 2015, she found cannabis as an alternative to treat her lupus. No longer bound to 11 pills a day or monthly infusions, she was inspired by her experience to open Benefit Health Collective in 2016, along with her three co-founders. Together they have grown a profitable multi-state dispensary and a national social equity model and enterprise now known as The People’s Dispensary. Christine believes that the cannabis industry has a mandate to serve not only its customers and patients but also the communities that have been most affected by the war on drugs.
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