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Cheers was right: Sometimes you really do wanna go where everybody knows your name. Lots of people in the Washington medical marijuana community use the

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The Son Also Rises: Creating a Medical-Marijuana Community

"Cheers" was right: Sometimes you really wanna go where everybody knows your name.

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Cheers was right: Sometimes you really do wanna go where everybody knows your name. Lots of people in the Washington medical marijuana community use the word "community," but a few of them actually work to build one. And while some patients prefer a place to just get their cannabis and go, others like to combine marijuana shopping with socializing.

For those patients, it's hard to imagine a better place to go than Washington Farmer's Market in Olympia, which takes place every first and third Saturday of the month. With a friendly group of vendors and regular patients I see almost every time I go, this is a real community. Far from being insular and exclusive, though, the folks at the Market warmly welcome newcomers; from the very first time I visited last year, I felt at home.

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For patients more attuned to the grab-and-go end of the spectrum, Sonshine Organics offers one feature I've not seen at any other access point in the area: a drive-through window
Sonshine Organics is a medical marijuana access point that operates on the same location as the Farmer's Market. For patients more attuned to the grab-and-go end of the spectrum, Sonshine offers one feature I've not seen at any other access point in the area: a drive-through window. According to Sonshine's Sarena Haskins, it's open on Fridays and Saturdays for the convenience of patients. "For example, busy mothers who don't want to leave their kids in the car," she explains.

The Market usually includes about 20 vendor tables, which offer a variety of cannabis flowers, concentrates, topicals and medibles. That variety is very empowering to patients; competition helps keep prices low and quality high, and many vendors offer on-the-spot sampling. On my latest visit to the Market last week, I was quick to donate for some excellent Gold Jack (Colombian Gold x Jack Herer), a comely and energetic sativa, on the Blue Moon table.

I enjoyed a delicious medicated barbecue pork sandwich prepared by Bilbus Yeoldshire, a regular vendor at the market. The sweet, tangy flavor gave no hint of the barbecue's potency, but about an hour later a deep calm suffused me and I realized that was one righteous sandwich. You'd have a hard time finding a better medicated value anywhere for five bucks. Also not to be missed were the potent medicated treats, including white chocolates, caramel cups, and peanut butter cups, at The Magik Chef's table; watch for her crescent moon logo.

When I say there's much more to the Market than the vendors, what I mean is the Sonshine crew makes sure patients are entertained while they're at the market. For all the world, this innovative approach reminds me of an old-time "flea market" back in Alabama, except with marijuana. Almost every market features live music in the smoking lounge by the likes of Kim Archer, an absolutely stunning entertainer who combines equal parts Joan Armatrading and Melissa Etheridge. Special events also often feature magicians, comedians, and dancers; there's never a dull moment around this place. (Yes, I said "smoking lounge." You can consume cannabis on-site at the Market - and hear live music while doing so.)

"This is the way it should be everywhere, all the time," my friend and fellow patient Doc said dreamily as we left the Market. I agree.


tokesignals@seattleweekly.com

Sonshine Organics, 3211 Yelm Hwy. SE, 742-3669, sonshineo.com

Market open first and third Saturdays, 10:30 to 5:30.

Sonshine Organics open 10-7 Monday-Friday; 10:30-5:30 Saturday (Closed Sunday)

Aug. 11 and Sept. 8 Markets will be at Hoodsport waterfront, across from Model T Tavern

 
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