Marijuana founder wants pot farmer's market in Boulder

Last week, founder and CEO Justin Hartfield made some waves in Boulder by announcing his plans for a ganja-only farmer's market in the college town in the Boulder Daily Camera.

While it makes sense, especially considering Boulder's reputation for being a haven of all-things-organic farmer's markets and quality marijuana, it isn't likely to become reality any time soon.

Medical marijuana farmers markets have been around for a number of years in other states. Seattle, for example, has one of the largest and longest running cannabis farmer's markets. For Colorado, Hartfield is proposing roadside setups on agricultural land where as many as 99 farmers could showcase their harvests.

As cities around Colorado discuss how to implement the legalization initiative Amendment 64, we believe it is important that local communities create standards and opportunities that are appropriate to the local culture," Harfield wrote on the proposal's page at (a website also owned by Hartfield). "For this reason, we are proposing that Boulder certify an organic cannabis farmer's market zone district, where growers from around the state can sell their products to adult residents in designated places."

"The concept would be a new one for Colorado - mostly because Colorado laws don't allow for personal sales of either medical or recreational marijuana from person to person. "I got news for you: Marijuana is legal in Colorado," Hartfield told the Huffington Post last week. "It's no longer a drug in a sense. It's a plant. It's a commodity. There's no reason not to allow trade in it openly."

While we agree, that unfortunately just isn't going to be the case given our current set of laws and regulation (yes, even including Amendment 64).

According to state laws, caregivers can only provide medicine for up to five patients and can only be compensated for the growing efforts and reasonable expenses - it's not to be for-profit. Basically, the laws were written so that if you want to provide cannabis for more than five people, you have to open a dispensary to do so.

Because of those stipulations, a cannabis farmers market for medical marijuana would fall into some murky legal gray areas.

But as for recreational cannabis, it seems that a farmer's market of private growers would be all but impossible given that person-to-person sales of marijuana are still illegal under state law. The only sales that Amendment 64 allows are from retail stores to the consumer and from distributors to retail stores. As quite a few people learned right after Amendment 64 passed, you can't offer marijuana up as a bonus for goods and services offered - like a $50 bumper sticker that comes with a "free" bag of ganja.

But aside from state law prohibiting it, Boulder officials say it is something that would be possible - though they point out that the city has yet to write its retail marijuana laws.

Hartfield knows this, and he also knows the value of publicity - which he admits this first push for a farmer's market is all about. Getting the conversation started is his main goal, he told HuffPo.

"Right now, we'll consider any response from the officials as a success -- good, bad, or indifferent."

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William Breathes
Contact: William Breathes

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