Fort Worth marijuana expo draws thousands
Fort Worth was treated to a marijuana conference the likes of which it had never seen before with the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo.
Dozens of vendors from around the country, a hard hitting lineup of speakers, and a very large venue in the Fort Worth Convention Center had thousands of Texans in attendance the final weekend in February.
Vendors included cannabis investment companies, wood workers, hemp product makers, herb extractors and processors, artists, media companies, lawyers, doctors, and a slew of non-profits from around Texas. Speakers included industry specialists in security, investment, and networking, along with former NFL players Marvin Washington, Ricky Williams, and Jim McMahon, media personalities such as Montel Williams, and several activists.
Early on police had several vendors remove hemp CBD products from the building, otherwise the day was calm save for one convention goer for a nearby trading card game who drew out a fake sword on one of the security members after he was denied entrance to the expo.
Security at the event, local Fort Worth police officers, looked largely bored. They mostly declined comments on the job, saying only that they were looking for blatant offenders. When asked if they would rather be arresting people for marijuana or going after people for more serious crimes, one officer responded that “it all pays the same.”
Marijuana was not permitted at the expo, and it appears that none was consumed on site.
All government officials were given free admission to the event, though it was unclear if any were in attendance.
Attendance was diverse, with people from many different backgrounds in attendance. The emerging market is attracting people from all walks of life, though it remains to be seen if lack of access to resources and high barriers to entry will keep most people out of play.
Many said the event was helping to get Texas ready for the coming legal marijuana market, which according to Tony Gallo, one of the event’s speakers, estimates will be worth $29 billion nationally by 2019.
Overall, the consensus was that people were there to make money, and there was no shortage of business opportunities and connections to be had.