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News: 01/15/2018

Cannabis Club draws attention in Oakmont

man and two women sitting at table
Oakmont Cannabis Club organizers, from left, Heidi Klyn, Tina Hoogs, and Jim Byrne. Photo by Michael Reinhardt

Now that recreational cannabis is legal in California, if you are thinking of donning a tie-dyed caftan and going to an Oakmont Cannabis Club meeting to smoke a joint or munch a brownie for a high, forget it.

The Oakmont Cannabis Club (OCC) was organized for medicinal purposes – natural alternatives to opioids used as pain killers and sleeping pills – and, according to club president Heidi Klyn, nothing has changed. OCC’s focus is strictly medicinal, she said – with an exclamation point.

Not yet a year old, OCC is the idea of Oakmont residents Tina Hoogs and Jim Byrne who have studied the beneficial aspects of cannabis. They formed a board and Klyn was called in to help. Klyn steered the Oakmont Boomers from a gathering of a few into Oakmont’s largest and most dynamic club, and she appears to be doing the same for the new cannabis club. OCC is growing rapidly, from a first meeting in April attended by 35 to a meeting in December attracting 150. Members range in age from 55 to 92.

Klyn reports, “We were surprised when we started the club to find out how many Oakmont residents are using cannabis. And they are not just the younger crowd; they are from older generations. Oakmont is an active senior community and that needs to be respected. We want seniors to exercise, play tennis, golf, bocce ball, be active. We want everyone to be comfortable, maintain health in a natural form.”

The cannabis alternative for health is a growing movement and it’s happening in retirement communities. Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, average age 76, has had an active cannabis education club for five years. Leisure World in Laguna Hills has three cannabis clubs.

According to Klyn, Oakmont and Sonoma County are a natural fit in the Emerald Triangle – comprised of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties – three big destinations for cannabis in the state. “Climate here is conducive to growing the cannabis plant, a big reason. California wineries are being approached to grow the plant in their large fields. The future of cannabis here is huge.”

A typical Oakmont cannabis meeting is two-fold. First, there is a speaker who is a leader in the field and usually from one of the big dispensaries in Santa Rosa or Sebastopol. Second, the meeting turns into an informal and informative session where questions are answered and what’s new is announced – what to use for a specific ailment and where to find it, what’s a good cream for arthritis, a tincture to aid sleep, which medical cannabis doctor treats depression, is it time to cool down on the THC, what are the cannabis treatments for animals.

OCC meetings are open to all Oakmont residents. Non-residents can attend as invited guests. An OCC seminar is planned for March 15 at 7 p.m. at the Berger Center, headlining author/scientist Martin A. Lee, director of Project CBD, a national education program promoting medicinal cannabis.

For OCC information, email Klyn at


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