This is not your grandfather's farmers market... He probably didn't catch a contact high while tasting the produce.
But with the rise of the farm-to-table movement, it's no surprise that the medical marijuana industry is pioneering a similar model: plant-to-patient.
At least that's the goal of the first-ever cannabis farmers market, hosted by West Coast Collective in Boyle Heights. The dispensary started the California Heritage Market, which aims to eliminate the middle-man and connect pot producers with patients.
I met with a number of patients with compelling stories of marijuana positively changing their lives. One woman, Jamie Hale, makes a massage oil that doesn't get you high, but relaxes muscles. She said the oil is being used in a clinical study with Multiple Sclerosis patients to explore whether it helps relieve pain and allows them to walk again.
Or take Barbara, a vendor at the market selling mini cookies infused with cannabis. She eats a a few of her products each night to help her sleep. She got H. pylori, a bacterium that causes chronic inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach, after eating a tainted marijuana edible, she said. She now has pre-cancer cells in her stomach and uses cannabis instead of the Trazodone her doctor prescribed. Her experience inspired her to create what she hopes is a cleaner, safer edible for medical marijuana patients, she said.
While everyone allowed into the market is a registered medical marijuana patient, some people I talked to appeared to enjoy ingesting pot for the love of the the high, not for the medicinal properties.