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L.A's first cannabis farmer's market to open Friday

First-ever cannabis farmer's market in L.A. region to open Friday for three days
'We are following the law,' says organizer of L.A. region's first cannabis farmer's market
Only holders of marijuana cards to be allowed inside L.A. area's first cannabis farmer's market

Los Angeles' first-ever cannabis farmer's market will open for business Friday, where up to 50 pot vendors will sell their wares to card-carrying patients.

Organizers of the California Heritage Market plan to showcase high-quality cannabis vendors and growers from throughout the state. The market will be held at West Coast Collective, a marijuana dispensary in Boyle Heights.

So far, city and police officials have not publicly objected to the event.

"It is very clear what we are doing here and we are following the law as it written," said Paizley Bradbury, 22, event organizer and the collective's executive director.

For organizers, the concept is simple -- give marijuana card-carrying patients direct access to medicinal products without steep dispensary costs.

Eric Leslie sees the value in opening a cannabis-focused market for patients because it allows the public "to look at things differently."

"You really don't see stuff like this happening," he said. "I think it's unique and inventive."

He and his partners opened Cheeba Chews, a cannabis-oil chocolate taffy, in Colorado in 2009 and expanded a year ago to California.

"Things like this give an opportunity for the general public to look at it in a new light," Leslie said.

The market will be held in a warehouse-like structure to the rear of the collective. But not just any marijuana-enthusiast will have access.

Only patients with marijuana cards will be allowed to enter the market, and organizers will closely examine their IDs and card information, Bradbury said.

At least 30 patients have already pre-registered for the market, even though organizers never announced they were doing so.

"It's so exciting," she said.

Ahead of Friday's opening, Bradbury said organizers were working quickly to set up vendor booths and carnival games. If the event is successful, organizers may open the market every weekend, she said.

"There is a need for this in Los Angeles," she said. "There is just not enough access."

California Heritage Market runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 4-6 at West Coast Collective, 1500 Esperanza St. in Los Angeles.

For breaking news in Los Angeles and California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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