OWNER OF SONSHINE ORGANICS NETWORK SHARES HOW MEDICAL MARIJUANA HAS HELPED HER FAMILY AND COMMUNITY
BY RAY STILL
“I have seven doctors,” said Serena Haskins, the owner of Sonshine Organics Network. “Air, water, rest, exercise, diet, sunshine, and cannabis.”
Sonshine is a non-profit member cooperative that opened in 2010. The different spelling of “sun” is on purpose—Haskins named her non-profit after her children. Her daughter Hannah developed a large Wilms tumor (a cancer of the kidney) at an early age. While Hannah went through an intensive cancer treatment plan, her parents educated themselves on alternative cannabis treatments, although they never gave it to Hannah during her treatment. After Hannah entered remission, Haskins decided that her daughter or sons would not go through another Western medical plan, and would instead go alternative. When her foster son had an ear tumor, Haskins said his alternative treatment made a real difference in his life.
Every Saturday, Sonshine hosts a marijuana farmers market. Customers must have a legal government I.D. card and, normally, their green card (medical marijuana card) to buy any marijuana products. But on 4/20 this year, Haskins opened up the market to everyone over the age of 21, with or without a green card.
It was considered a private event by a door fee, which allowed Sonshine and other vendors to sell marijuana products to people without a green card. Still, vendors hosted by Sonshine must have a business license to sell marijuana at the market.
Even with those restrictions, Haskins said that the waiting list to sell at the market is so long that there are completely different vendors selling at the market over the scope of two consecutive market days.
Sonshine also hosts live music, prepares non-medicated food for customers, and even keeps a smoking room in the back of the market. Haskins also said Sonshine has the only drive-thru for cannabis patients in the state. She once saw an elderly customer have difficulty walking into the market, so she had the drive-thru made to further aid customers.
Even though Haskins considers herself a “canamom” (cannabis mother), Haskins said she discourages the recreational use of marijuana and even voted against Initiative 502, which legalized the drug for recreational use in Washington. Haskins said her philosophy is that marijuana should be used medically, and should not be used for the “greed of the state.”
“Our state started adding up the dollars and realized it was better to go recreational, and capitalize on the general public, than to protect viable lives,” Haskins said. “Do not put the cart before the horse.”
Sonshine is located at 3211 Yelm Hwy SE, Olympia, 98501 and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Saturday farmers market is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can check out more information about Sonshine at http://www.sonshineo.com/.