Medical marijuana users will be able to buy pot directly from the grower this Fourth of July weekend at the city’s first marijuana farmers market in Boyle Heights.
The California Heritage Market is being organized by the West Coast Collective, a marijuana dispensary that has been operating in L.A. since 2007.
One of the goals for the market, says West Coast Collective’s Executive Director Paizley Bradbury, is to protect patients from what she calls major problems in the cannabis industry that include big markups and dishonest practices by some dispensaries.
“Some dispensaries take advantage of the limited access that patients have in L.A. because many dispensaries have been shut down in recent years,” said Bradbury.
The market will be hosted inside the dispensary, a 15,000 square-foot open-air warehouse at 1500 Esperanza Street in an industrial zone of Boyle Heights. The shop is one of 135 dispensaries allowed to operate in Los Angeles after Proposition D was passed last year.
Bradbury specifically chose the area because of its isolation from the general public. However, some community members are not so happy with the whole concept.
Boyle Heights resident Dianne Mendez said it seems wrong to conduct marijuana sales in a farmers market setting.
“When I think of a farmer’s market, I think of it as a place where people take their children. It’s a place where families go to spend time together. I think it ruins the concept of a farmer’s market,” said Mendez.
Eastside resident Elia Ibarra said she doesn’t trust medical marijuana dispensaries as a whole.
“I’ve seen young people come out of those places holding up their containers. I think it’s a big sham. What medical conditions do kids have that require medical marijuana?” said Ibarra.
Bradbury said her organization is very thorough and understands the community has concerns. “We are doing our best to address their issues,” she says, adding her collective goes as far as calling doctor’s offices to verify cards that look suspicious to her.
The The California Heritage Marketplace will take place July 4 – 6, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to anyone over 18 with a valid medical marijuana card and ID.