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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Caregivers United

The cannabis farmers market is a phenomenon of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, and offers a unique way for patients and caregivers to come together to exchange information, genetics and medication. Just like at your local farmers market where you go to purchase locally grown produce, dairy, meat and other cottage industry products, the medical marijuana farmers market have local growers vend their medical marijuana. These vendors typically pay a fee to rent a table to display and transfer their wares. These places are a great alternative to dispensaries for several reasons.

Compassion Clubs often use this model and have influenced many of the patients and caregivers throughout Michigan. The Waterford Compassion Club was one of the first to come and go as the founders were targeted by law enforcement in Oakland County. Others, like Genesee County Compassion Club, have been protected by their community and have become a trusted source for medical marijuana and a safe place to meet.

The Jackson Farmers Market has been aiding patients who are the most poor and sick for years, but after McQueen the landlord that leased the group the space got cold feet. Many patients and caregivers that rely on the farmer’s market sought a new location, and luckily they found a new place in Lansing. Steve Lull, a musician and local leader, has the space and has been offering it to medical marijuana groups as a location to meet. The location is humble but spacious and has an impressive stage with complete sound systems, lights and other amenities.

Holding a sign that proudly claimed the location “Lansterdam,” Joe Cain posed for pictures with other patients and caregivers. “We were very fortunate to finds this place.” The Jackson Farmers market has officially moved to Lansing, but Joe is looking forward to helping other farmers markets open in other locations throughout Michigan. Many other caregivers and patients have joined him in this effort.

Denny Reott, from M.O.M. (Mother of Medicine) has been producing and donating Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) to needy patients that are in the greatest of need. “We care about patients and we won’t turn people away just because they have little or no money. I watched as my mother died painfully from cancer and if this medicine was available she might have lived,” explain Denny as he wiped tears from his face. Denny and Joe have joined forces to be the largest donors of free medicine for patients in Michigan, but that is only one half of the mission. They believe that if the dispensaries work with lawmakers to license the “Provisioning Centers,” that caregivers and many local farmers will be pushed out.

One of the vendors at the Lansterdam Farmers Market is Mark Sischo, and he shared in the concern about dispensaries. He is hoping that more caregivers will start coming out in support of grower’s rights. He is hosting a cannabis friendly event in Mt Morris. Canna Camp will be hosted in Flushing at the Mt Morris Compassion Club, on July 5th, 6th and 7th. You can camp overnight or come for the day. Fun activities and community building projects will be the focus and the event is open to everyone.


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