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Who'd want this bouquet from Sunboldt Grown? Photo by Allison Edrington.
Who'd want this bouquet from Sunboldt Grown? Photo by Allison Edrington.

Interfacing directly with patients is a challenge currently facing the cannabis marketplace. Producer counties have higher production and fewer patients locally, making it difficult to directly help many of the state’s patients who need medicine but can’t afford it.

Without an openness and an ability to self-represent, it is difficult to encourage systems that gather and distribute medicine to low-income patients. Legality has been vague at best, and there is always the fear of law enforcement interaction.

As farmers come into the light, a tremendous opportunity exists to create new pathways and connections between medicinal producers and patients. These multifaceted approaches should include market access for farms to receive fair remuneration for their product from people who can afford it, while also encouraging and fostering support of the sick who cannot.

We must honor the triple bottom line of ecology, community and economy. It isn’t about getting rich, it’s about fostering a better humanity through beneficial commerce. By scaling payments to what people can afford through different distribution channels fostered by cooperative associations, we can build a new medicinal cannabis reality.

Challenges Behind and Ahead

There is no easy path forward, regulating cannabis will take many years and our success will depend on the sharing of knowledge, seeds, medicine and the simple commonality of human awe for this magical plant. My soul hurts for the many people whose lives have been affected by negative systemic interaction; my psyche is torn by the ability to see all perspectives and all sides of the issue.

The journey has been difficult thus far and will continue to be harder, but we must come to understand there is much hanging in the balance. We seek a transition from the monolithic nature of industrial paradigms: agriculture, military, education. A new day will dawn, but it will take us working together.

Three generations — that’s all it took to remove us from the sources of our food and to remove small farmers from the land. It will take that long to regain this sense of touch and connection; the cultural skills that we’ve lost are inestimable, their value drives our need to reconnect and participate.

Cooperatives can help farmers meet patient needs and attain economies of scale. Read more here.

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