TIME Drugs

Los Angeles Is Getting a Farmers’ Market for Pot

Legalizing Marijuana
Marijuana is displayed during the grand opening of the Seattle location of the Northwest Cannabis Market, for sales of medical marijuana products, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Elaine Thompson—AP

Farm-to-table marijuana

Say hello to the newest addition to the farmers’ market: marijuana.

Los Angeles medical-marijuana users will soon be able to buy their product straight from the people who grew it, according to Paizley Bradbury, executive administrator of the California Heritage Market. The farmers’ market is set to open the weekend of July 4, and anyone with a medical-marijuana card will be able to walk through and check out the booths, where vendors will peddle cannabis flowers, edibles and more.

“It’s going to be so much easier for patients to get their medicine at a more affordable rate, and something that they can trust,” Bradbury tells TIME. “They can say ‘How did you grow this? Is it organic? What kind of nutrients did you use? What kind of strain is this?’ There’s just so much more behind it.”

Bradbury hopes direct patient-farmer contact will protect customers from what she calls the major problems in the industry: big markups from brokers who shuttle the product from farms to dispensaries, and dishonest practices by dispensaries, which Bradbury says sometimes post inaccurate analyses of the product hoping the average consumer won’t know any better.

The California Heritage Market hopes to keep running every weekend, provided it does not hit any legal barriers. Bradbury says she has been working very closely with an in-house lawyer to ensure everything goes smoothly.

“With this industry, you just never really know how things are going to turn out until after you do it,” she says.

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