Lifestyle

The Emerald Exchange: Not Your Average Farmers Market

The Emerald Exchange: A Cannabis Farmers Market

the emerald exchange cannabis farmers market

When you grow up hearing, “Just say, no” at every turn, it’s an interesting experience to walk around an Emerald Exchange event where cannabis plants decorate vendors booths that in turn overflow with all aspects of the plant.

This past weekend, thirty-seven vendors surrounded a small lake on a private farm just outside of Los Angeles for the fourth installment of the Emerald Exchange – a cannabis Farmers Market and Wellness Festival.  There was a palpable buzz throughout the event – what with the LA laws shifting in January toward recreational use. Many of the farmers and vendors at the Emerald Exchange seemed relieved to be coming out of the black market after years (and in some instances, decades) of laying low.

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

All the growers there were organic farmers (mostly sun-grown cultivators from Northern California) with the majority coming down from Humboldt and Mendocino counties – where the soil and weather have been a draw to growers for a long time. This NorCal meets SoCal event was started by Justin Calvino and others as a way to bring together growers, distributors, and consumers from this vast state in one place. Besides flowers, vape pens, and pre-rolls, there were also edibles, salves, oils, and creams as well as medicinal inhalers and lubricants… yes, lubricants.

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

Foria Pleasure was one of the few SoCal vendors at the Emerald Exchange, featuring products for women. Labeled as the world’s first THC-infused sensual oil, the brand also includes items for menstrual relief.

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

Arcanna Flowers is a Mendocino-based collective with approximately 40 sustainable farms coming together to grow organic and biodynamic proprietary strains and medicines. The ladies representing Arcanna were excited to share what their collective does and I was thrilled to see that they were juicing the leaves for smoothies.  They were the only ones at the event that I saw doing that and I think cannabis leaf juicing is going to be the wave of the future. Juiced cannabis would be a nutritional power drink without the psychoactive components activated when heating the plant.

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

One of the most memorable booths was that of Shaun Robinson’s Wyldeheart Ranch, an off-the-grid Regenerative Healing Arts Sanctuary located in Humboldt County. The energy of the people from Wyldeheart made me want to drop everything and drive north to visit their ranch immediately. They also had some unique-to-the-event products, like their regenerative bath salts and artisan chocolates.

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

Hummingbird Medicinals husband and wife team D’yana and Adam came down from NorCal, also, sharing infused water for all passersby. D’yana is a third generation cannabis farmer and Adam has been farming for ten years. They grow four to six different strains biodynamically in the Sierra Nevada foothills and have a line of cosmetic oils, as well.

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

As the day passed, the event filled up. Many people lounged in the comfortable sitting areas many vendors provided.  Meanwhile, a pop-up brunch featuring cannabis-infused food by Chef Christopher Sayegh was getting underway across the lake. It was a prelude (of sorts) to the chef’s future brick and mortar restaurant Herb – slated to open next August.

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

One reoccurring conversation I had with the farmers was talk of the analysis of the cannabis itself – so consumers knew exactly what they were getting.  One company, Humboldt Brand, even had QR codes printed on their packaging for quick access to the info.

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

There were monthly subscription boxes, dry farmed cannabis, mints, nasal sprays for seizures, chocolate, and pies. There were artists, lectures, yoga, and musicians… a community of like-minded connoisseurs coming together for the love of all things cannabis…

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market{Fiddler’s Greens}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market{Get Baked}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market{art: Binx, C.S.Murphy and Califari.  Use discount code FOR20 for 20% off all orders from Califari.}

 

the emerald exchnage cannabis farmers market

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market {Henrys Original}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market{CannaKids}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market {Madrone}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market{Big Pete’s}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market{Lucky Box}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market {Westside Collective}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market{Green Goat}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market {Ridgetop Botanicals}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market {Jambo Superfoods}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market {art: Alex Grey; Budhive}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market {Bon Vivant}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market{Fruit Slabs}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market {Eel River Organics}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market (Big Rock Farms}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market {Jonathan Keim and Kokolato – Vegan Gelato}

 

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market {Lulu’s}

Everything was branded and packaged beautifully.  Instagram-worthy photos were everywhere I looked. The world of cannibas has definitely changed since plastic baggies were all the rage!

All and all, it was a lot to take in for someone new to this world and interested about the healing properties of (what many refer to as) the Sacred Plant. But all the vendors were extremely kind and knowledgable and loved talking about their farms and crafting the perfect product for different uses. Up until the 1930’s, cannabis was present in almost all tinctures and medicines available at the time.  It is a plant known for it’s numerous health benefits. So to see the government lifting their prohibition stance on it must be a sigh of relief to many who seek it out for their cancer or other health ailments.

I will leave you with the back of Tommy Chong – who, of course, has his own line of cannabis and was at the EmEx event. We walked right by each other shoulder to shoulder, but there were so many groupies I didn’t want to be that person… so I waited until he passed to snap a shot… and to help promote his Chong’s Choice, apparently!

The Emerald Exchange cannabis farmers market

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