If you distribute medical marijuana for religious reasons, you gain protection under both California state law (medical marijuana) and U.S. federal law (religious freedom).
The common world religions of today all have some variation of the idea that some people are expected to help the sick and injured.
Any American who has a sincerely held religious belief that he or she is required by his or her religion to help the sick and the injured with medical marijuana is theoretically protected from the DEA by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
In practice this right must be defended by a skilled lawyer. If you currently distribute medical marijuana or intend to distribute medical marijuana, please consult with a lawyer to determine the likely costs to defend your rights and the best way to defend your rights.
The religious right to distribute medical marijuana applies to Americans of any religion. Pr Ntr Kmt has key advantages, significantly that it is not a single-purpose cannabis religion and it has a verifiable record of religious cannabis going back thousands of years, even before new religions such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism were invented.
While members of some religions have exclusionary policies against members of other religions, Pr Ntr Kmt is a very inclusive religion.
Your collective can be an interfaith collective, affiliated with Pr Ntr Kmt.
A basic decision is whether your collective is a church or a religious organization. These are legal terms, not religious terms. In everything except the law, the word church has the unambigious meaning of the body of the believers in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, the government has used the word church as a legal term, another example of lawyers specifically using words in nonsensical manners so as to cause confusion that requires spending a great deal of money on the legal cartel in order to figure out laws. The government gains the advantage of being able to put innocent victims into prison simply because of a lack of understanding of secret lawyerly cant (a cant is a secret language used in a particular profession).
As a nonlawyer, it appears to me that the legal word church means a religious organization that holds services. The primary advantage of a church over a religious organization appears to be that a church does not have to obtain government permission to be a non-profit organization and does not have to report tax information to the government.
Under the law a church is presumed to be a non-profit organization. A religious organization can be either non-profit or for profit.
There are examples of large church-like religious organizations calling themselves religious organizations rather than churches and paying taxes, the most famous being Catholic Charities USA, the largest private network of social service organizations in the United States. This allows them to speak out on social issues (a non-profit organization is forbidden by federal law from speaking out on legislation or candidates for political office) and frees them from normal restrictions on pay for leadership.
If your collective has an owner or owners who intend to make a profit operating their collective, then you propbably want to be a religious organization. If you want to maximize the protection agaiinst arrest and seizure, then you probably want to be a church. If you intend to operate as an interfaith collective (not one specific religion, but cooperation between multiple religions), then you probably want to be a religious organization. If you want to hold religious services, then you probably want to be a church. A lawyer can help you sort this out.
See also legally valid religion.