SWCC comes to… Texas? — SWCC Fort Worth
I recently traveled to the Southwest Cannabis Conference (SWCC), an established B2B cannabis conference that was being held for the first time ever in Fort Worth, TX. My mission: to assess the state of weed in the Lone Star State
I am writing up a big two-part coverage series for mg magazine (snippet from Part 1 is here), but basic coverage of SWCC Forth Worth overall is below — enjoy!
I was as confused as you are, but it’s true. The Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo (SWCC) came to Fort Worth, Texas in February. Show organizers reported 6,000 attendees over the two-day event, with 100 exhibitors and 75 panelists sharing a wealth of information with eager audiences.
Excitement was palpable as people lined up to speak to investors, consultants, career networks, retailers, and community organizers. The same question was on everyone’s lips: How can I get involved with Texas’ emerging cannabiz?
“We were surprised at the number of people in a non-legal state who were interested in cannabis careers, some to the point of having a willingness to move to other states,” exhibitor Hector Santa Cruz of THCJobs.com told mg. “We encouraged them to stay in Texas and work in ancillary businesses that support the industry in order to help move the legalization movement forward in their own state.”
Though Texas currently has stringent laws outlining limited medical CBD use for patients with intractable epilepsy only, the barriers to business entry are actually quite manageable, especially relative to other canna states. This is good news for people looking to get in on the ground floor.
The real kicker during any event though is human interest, and SWCC Fort Worth brought human interest in spades via two powerful seminars – the return of 10-year-old medical refugee Alexis Bortell and a special presentation from the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition featuring NFL All-Stars Jim McMahon, Ricky Williams, and Marvin Washington.
Alexis Bortell, a patient from Texas with intractable epilepsy currently living in Colorado, needs a greater allocation of whole plant medicine than is presently legal in her home state. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Alexis delivered a keynote-caliber speech, declaring her commitment to sustained activism for all patients.
The Gridiron speakers were equally moving, with each athlete sharing insights regarding cannabis’ benefits and the stigma that inhibits it. According to Marvin Washington, the most dangerous thing about athletes’ cannabis use is the fallout that occurs after “getting caught.” Each panelist offered various ways sports organizations could work to help – rather than hurt – athletes in need.
Attendees left the expo invigorated and inspired. “SWCCE is proof that perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel,” attendee Andy Graf told mg. “Five years ago, I never would have believed something like this would be hosted in Fort Worth. The people are starting to learn the truth, now we just wait for the politicians.”
SWCC CEO Rory Mendoza said it best – “We are so happy with the outcome. We shocked the country and made history. This was epic.”
mg is print only, so if you’d like to read more full articles you can subscribe here or pick up a copy at your local Barnes & Noble. Texas is the second largest state in the US and has the second largest population — big things are coming to a place where everything is generally bigger, y’all!
What do you think about weed in Texas?
(pictured: Alexis Bortell being interviewed after her speech)
(pictured: the Gridiron speakers made me care about injuries in professional sports)
Interested in more B2B cannabis coverage? Check out summaries from mg right here.
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