The line snaked around the block at an off-the-beaten-track warehouse in Boyle Heights Friday. An 81-year-old woman with arthritis and insomnia stood next to a 40-something Orange County soccer mom-type, who is next to a 24-year-old tie dye-wearing man with long dreadlocks.
The California Heritage Market is open. It's the first cannabis farmers' market in Los Angeles. Yes, cannabis as in marijuana. Held by the West Coast Collective, it gives marijuana medical card holders a unique option -- one location with dozens of vendors selling buds, edibles, oils, creams, inhalers, glassware, t-shirts, and even raffle tickets for a 15-gallon plant.
"This is unbelievable" said the 81-year-old Mary, who said she suffers from insomnia. People told us they suffer from everything, from HIV to broken backs to arthritis, even life.
Plenty of police officers, in marked vehicles and undercover, were around the location. Event organizers said they welcome that. "It is very clear that what we are doing here is following the law as it is written" said event organizer Paizley Bradbury, adding that the collective would like to do this every weekend.
The only complaint we heard was the length of the line outside and how much time it took to get in (an hour for some people). But parking was also an issue.
The most popular vendor location was a booth, with a long line, selling marijuana at "incredibly low prices", according to those walking out with brown paper bags. We were told the prices being offered were more than 50% lower than the average dispensary.
There were no doctors at the location, so those who came thinking they could get a card got turned away. "We are being very, very careful to follow the law" said one vendor. Indeed, the site sits among warehouses that are mostly closed for the weekend, no schools, no homes. Even food truck vendors who were not previously registered with the collective were told they could not come in. Security guards stood inside and outside, making sure there was no trouble, even reminding people not to drive if they have been tasting edibles.
The California Heritage Market runs from 10 am to 8 pm July 4-6, at West Coast Collective, 1500 Esperanza Street in Boyle Heights.