Word is the DEA was at the 2015 Southwest Cannabis Conference (overheard on the expo floor), we can’t imagine why since the business conference couldn’t be further from what you would associate with a cannabis event. Where was the weed? Where are the hippies, the cool hipster kids, the grandmas from the 60’s?
Cannabis business conferences are geared towards matching the investor with the fledging marijuana business, (networking, networking, networking). These investors see cannabis as their golden goose, not because it’s good for you, not because cannabis can heal the brain, not because cannabis helps veterans, football players, those with brain injuries or children with epilepsy, but because the potential to make money is stronger than any philanthropic reason.
Having recently attended several cannabis conferences, PotNetwork was skeptical of attending yet another business conference and experiencing men in suits plugging the next great cannabis product. Sure there was the “penny stock expert,” touting herself as “no one loses money with me,” the guy selling the empty pill capsules, in our opinion, probably the least effective way of getting cannabis into your system. While research indicates that those with significant Neurodevelopmental disorders could have problems breaking down the capsules, it’s still pitched to potential investors as an attractive way to make money.
As you walk across the conference floor, you hear the call for investors to try the newest better vape pen, the best trim machine, the newest technology to help you grow the best flower, etc.
Imagine our surprise and delight when we ran across attendees who had no other agenda but to bring awareness to their cause, getting help for veterans. PotNetwork had the chance to speak to Weed For Warriors and the CEO of Magical Butter, Garyn Angel, sponsor of the 2015 Cannaball Run.
Angel, who manufactures a brand of appliances and clothing admits he makes no money sponsoring the Cannaball Run, but considers it a win, win for everyone involved. Sponsoring the run brings attention to his brand, Magical Butter, and brings recognition to Weed For Warriors and the vets who desperately need cannabis as medicine, even though Angel realizes that he’ll make no money from these kind of events, he’ll continue to support and raise money for Veterans. Raising awareness and visibility for such causes is where other industry leaders should dedicate more effort.
Disabled Veteran Jose Martinez, a triple amputee, having completed the Santa Monica portion of the Cannaball run was representing Weed For Warriors. Martinez says that approximately twenty two veterans die each day from PTSD related suicide, but the number could be higher, since those numbers do not include Texas and California.
Martinez strongly believes that he would not be alive today it it wasn’t for cannabis, 2 1/2 years ago, he took his last opiate based painkiller and his quality of life changed for the better, he will continue his fight not just for vets, but for safe access for everyone.
Nate Jackson and Kyle Turly of the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, were in attendance bringing awareness to their cause. Former New Orleans Saints lineman and San Diego All American tackle, Turly, who was left with a string of ailments, including nerve, knee and chronic back pain after retirement from football, believes “cannabis will save football.” Having at one point contemplated suicide, marijuana has helped him deal with his ailments and get his life back on track. He is a vocal supporter of cannabis access for all football players who need it.
Former Denver Bronco, Nate Jackson continues to be an outspoken advocate for medical cannabis use in the NFL. Avoiding the use of opiates for much of his professional career, Jackson self medicated with marijuana so he wouldn’t retire addicted to prescription drugs like so many of his contemporaries. Jackson discovered marijuana right around the time he started playing football. One of his first injuries on the football field was a concussion. It was right around that time he started smoking, and has been a regular user of cannabis since. Jackson believes that the NFL would be smart to study the benefits of cannabis use among their players, instead of punishing those who seek out the benefits.
Eben Britton and Ricky Williams rounded out the panel on that took an in-depth look at cannabis in professional sports. Williams the Heisman Trophy winner said, “I don’t think I would have won the Heisman Trophy without cannabis.”
Steve DeAngelo, cannabis advocate, entrepreneur, educator and speaker, has made speaking the truth about cannabis his life mission….did we mention he was born at exactly 4:20? DeAngelo, who’s book “The Cannabist Manifesto” is a “call to action and a radical vision of humans’ relationship with this healing but controversial plant.” DeAngelo is calling for realistic national policy on a substance that has been used by half of all Americans.
The 2015 Southwest Cannabis Conference Expo, was one of the more interesting events PotNetwork has attended. Being more diverse with plenty of local flavor, from the beating drums of the local indigenous tribes, to an assortment of glass bongs and the world’s biggest VW bus. And if you wanted an investment or how to get a job in the cannabis industry, you could find it there too. An admirable showing for their first outing.
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