Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
This collective, in Olympia, Washington, is a real innovator among medical marijuana access points
A medical marijuana access point in Olympia, Washington, has taken convenience to the next level, opening a drive-through window for patients.
Having visited about 70 collectives now in my capacity as “Toke Signals” marijuana/dispensaries reviewer for the Seattle Weekly, the drive-through window at Sonshine Organics is a feature I’ve never seen before. To my knowledge, this is the first one in the Pacific Northwest.
According to Sonshine’s Sarena Haskins, the drive-through window is 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 told me.
Sonshine, at 3211 Yelm Highway SE in Olympia, also hosts the Washington Farmer’s Market, which gets growers, medibles vendors and patients together in a very community-oriented atmosphere. While lots of people on the medical marijuana scene use the word “community,” some of them actually work to build one, and that’s definitely what’s going on here.
The Washington Farmer’s Market, held from 10:30 to 5:30 he first and third Saturday of the month, features a friendly group of vendors and regular patients I see almost every time I go. 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.
The Market usually includes about 20 vendor tables, offering a variety of cannabis flowers, concentrates, topicals and medibles. That variety is extremely empowering to patients; good old-fashioned competition helps keep prices low and quality high, and many vendors offer on-the-spot sampling.
On my latest visit to the Market on July 7, 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. While lots of medibles out there are severely lacking in potency — especially for those of us who have quite a tolerance for cannabis — Magik Chef treats pack a real punch, and many patients are reporting they’re great for pain relief, which has been my experience as well.
There’s much more to the Washington Farmer’s Market than the vendors. The Sonshine Organics crew (a courteous and helpful bunch of folks) 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. (Yes, I said “smoking lounge.” Patients can consume casnnabis on-site at the Market — and hear live music while doing so.) Special events also often feature magicians, comedians, and even dancers; there’s never a dull moment around this place.
Markets will be held in beautifully scenic Hoodsport, Washington, at the waterfront, across the road from the Model T Tavern, on August 11 and September 8.
“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.