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Around a thousand wait in line for inaugural marijuana farmers' market

Call it a celebration of the red, white and green. What's been billed as L.A.'s  first ever farmers' market for medical marijuana opened its doors Friday in a warehouse in Boyle Heights. 

By mid-afternoon, about a thousand people were standing in a line that stretched around the block. After an hour in the hot sun, John Arnt wasn’t even half way to the door.

“We’ve heard from a couple people going by it’s another hour and a half,” Arnt said.

When asked if he was willing to wait that long, Arnt laughed and said, “I’m willing to wait all day.”

Inside the warehouse in the 1500 block of Esperanza Street, about 25 vendors had set up booths, selling marijuana, but also pipes, pot brownies and even marijuana-infused sunscreen.

The market was for medical marijuana prescription holders only, and organizers verified the ID cards of visitors before issuing wristbands for entry.   

Charles Gould said he had come out to buy marijuana for pain he’s had since a failed back surgery.

“This stuff is a lot better than Oxycontin and all the Cymbalta and all the Darvocet and Vicodin the doctors try to prescribe to me all the time, which I don’t take because I do it the natural way preferably," he said.

The three-day event was organized by the West Coast Collective, an East L.A. marijuana dispensary. It promoted the market as an opportunity for consumers to buy directly from growers, meaning lower prices. That’s what attracted 20-year-old Edwin Delgado, who arrived with $2,000 in his pocket.

“Gotta take advantage," Delgado said. "I smoke a lot. I’ve been smoking since I was 11.”

Organizers haven’t yet said whether the farmer’s market will be a regular event or just a one-time thing. Judging by the turnout, several vendors said, the organizers would be crazy not to continue.

The event is scheduled to continue Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.