By Cori Petersen
Wikipedia defines the nature of a farmers’ market this way… “Farmers’ markets exist worldwide and reflect their local culture and economy.” Vancouver, British Columbia has established is own “420 Monthly” which is Fair, Free and Open-Source Sales (F-FOSS) to demonstrate both the deep desire of citizens to have one, but also the ease of having one. At the traditional farmers’ market one does not test the produce they intend to ingest, nor does the thought typically occur due to communication between the individual producer and the public.
Our demonstration of an F-FOSS market is a protest against the current atmosphere of prohibition style regulations also referred to as Prohibition2.0 and it is important to maintain the market with support from local producers. Why? You may ask. If fair treatment of Cannabis itself as well as all involved in it’s use or production than this market is where you could take the opportunity to invest your efforts to promote the longevity of an F-FOSS event. The team is small and could use your help to mold it’s future.
Last month a misunderstanding about parking caused the VPD to shut November’s market down early. VPD has agreed it was incorrect and that the temporary move of December’s market a few blocks away at the Vancouver Public Library is an unsanctioned yet tolerated event, which is due to the ice rink at Robson square.
The 420 Monthly markets increase the level of profit for the crafters of many different Cannabis themed or Cannabis infused products, over selling to wholesalers, head-shops, or Dispensaries, obviously due to the elimination of middlemen. The continuation of the F-FOSS model that is shaped by consensus is important since it locks the middlemen out of the chain by selling direct to the public.
Besides the retail boost to the farmer or crafters bottom line, there are numerous production and handling costs that are diminished. Since BC has its reputation for good Cannabis the public perception regarding goods sold at this event typically helps every one of the vendors by allowing them to retain nearly all of the cost saving to themselves because the value is high too (not just the consumer, eh).
One last reference from Wikipedia about what benefits monthly protests could be bringing to Vancouver on the first Saturday of each month are likely to be the following:
Farmers’ markets help maintain important social ties, linking rural and urban populations and even close neighbors in mutually rewarding exchange.
market traffic generates traffic for nearby businesses
buying at markets encourages attention to the surrounding area and ongoing activities
by providing outlets for ‘local’ products, farmers’ markets help create distinction and uniqueness, which can increase pride and encourage visitors to return.
(All gratitude owed to Wikipedia, I owe you one! Copied with permission, creative commons licence), Source Link.
And finally most of those who participate in the F-FOSS or 420 Monthly markets enjoy the simplicity, immediate return, transparency and even with the rapport built when directly selling to each consumer. In contrast to all of the above is the road to red-tape hell that Health Canada is proposing as well as enforcing the preliminary stages of it, is scary and the farthest thing from free or fair.