Farmer’s markets are a popular trend in Los Angeles, but the first-ever medical marijuana farmer’s market made its debut in East Los Angeles today.
Card-carrying medical marijuana patients braved 90 degree heat and a long line to get into the California Heritage Market in Boyle Heights.
“They’re definitely going to have to have better access because there’s a lot of people that want to be here,” said customer Bobby Benson from South Park, who said he waited 50 minutes to get in. “I got here at 9:40 and there was already a line to get in, so I’d show up early.”
A couple dozen vendors here are selling everything from various strains of indica, sativa and hybrid marijuana, oils, waxes, pipes, and pot-infused treats.
“We make all the organic edibles that nobody else really makes, so waffles, soft pretzels, pizza, pepperoni and cheese, all top notch materials,” said Sherman Black with Sherman Organic Edibles. He said he uses a marijuana tincture in the butter that’s then baked into the food.
At the next booth, Brittany Confer is selling a cannabis-infused lubricant called Foria, made of coconut oil and THC oil. “Women are just really excited, they’re so eager to try it and tell their girlfriends about it,” Confer said. “And when you tell guys about it, you see their eyes light up, they’re like, ‘I wanna try this with my girl!'”
That’s probably the extreme end of recreational marijuana use, but other customers here are focused on the medicinal advantages. “I paralyzed my arm in a motorcycle accident a couple of years ago, and I also broke my back and my neck so I have periodic pain,” said Byron Bell from South LA. “I was taking the regular prescribed medication, but the side effects and the other stuff was just horrible.”
Bell says those side effects are gone, now that he just uses cannabis. Jamie Brown grows pot with First Choice Collective out of Mendocino County, and has a similar story.
“I’m a veteran that lives in San Diego. I got shot in Iraq 10 years ago and I’ve seen how this has helped change my life, and what it’s done for me. I was rolling a backpack full of pharmaceuticals around. Now it’s only cannabis oil and cannabis,” Brown said. “I wanna try and help anyone benefit from this the way I’ve benefited as well.”
Paizley Bradbury is the executive director of the West Coast Collective, one of 135 dispensaries allowed to operate in Los Angeles under Proposition D, the ballot measure passed last year She said she organized the California Heritage Market to offer patients direct access to growers and vendors.
“You know, in a dispensary you go in and you see a shelf with a bunch of jars. And those jars are speaking for those growers as a bunch of individual objects,” Bradbury said. “Here the growers are there with their stands, you see husbands and wives set up with their brands, with their edibles. You get to interact with these people one-on-one for free. That’s an amazing opportunity.”
Bradbury says she is looking to turn this into a weekly event – and judging by today’s turnout, it’ll be a success.
The market runs through 8 p.m. and continues Saturday and Sunday. The market is located at 1500 Esperanza St. in Los Angeles.