Dr. Dank: Farmers crop up at cannabis expo

Photo by Dr. Dank | A cannabis plant is passed at the Lucky Leaf Hemp Expo Sept. 21.

By Dr. Dank

Cannabis Columnist

Irving became the destination for cannabis lovers from all across the country to meet one another at the Lucky Leaf Hemp Expo.

Entrepreneurs, farmers, lawyers, doctors, growers and cannabis enthusiasts attended a two-day hemp convention, which consisted of educational seminars on all things cannabis and panel discussions led by industry professionals from across the country Sept. 21-22.

The convention was held at the Irving Convention Center and had over 80 vendor booths,\ where exhibitors sold their hemp products, farming tools and other wares. Everything a Texan would need to start a hemp operation was within in a room that stretched about 60 yards.

About 2,100 people filtered in and out of the convention center over the weekend to learn about the booming cannabis business. “Everybody was surprised of the turnout,” event organizer Chad Sloan said. “We did really well; a lot of people left Texas really happy.”

A few of the seminars were given by local speakers, such as Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. She spoke to over 60 people stuffed into a conference room about what her organization does and how Texans can advocate and take action for change in Texas cannabis policy. She covered the expansion of the Texas Compassionate Use Program, which now allows doctors to prescribe cannabis for more than just epilepsy.

Vern Mathis, chief operating officer of NICE CBD, set up a booth and sold his Area 51 branded hemp. He spoke at one of the largest and most intriguing panel discussions of the expo, called Growing Cannabis for Profit.

Victoria Wylde, co-founder of Colorado Hemp Connection, a Colorado-based cannabis genetics company, also spoke on the panel.

She discussed the issues farmers face when leasing land to grow cannabis. “People often do lease out their land,” she said. “I know a particular landowner [who] got, like, $50,000 for leasing out 15 acres and he didn’t have to lift a finger. The farmer came in there and did everything and paid up front.”

It is now legal to buy, own and consume hemp in Texas, but it is illegal to grow it. Mathis said: “The rules that are here today will probably not be the rules tomorrow. … Be ready for change.”

Growing cannabis is an art form and can be a fulfilling career. The speakers at the expo said it is important to remain compliant with your state, because if you don’t, the government will come throw your art away. “When you guys get into this and realize how much love and effort goes into these plants, they become part of your family and your soul. Mathis said. That’s just the way it is.”

Over the course of the weekend, expo attendees went to over 30 other seminars and discussions. Nothing but smiles and the sweet smell of freshly trimmed cannabis kept the the convention center buzzing.

People left the expo with confidence that Texas is headed in the right direction, and they can continue to pursue their cannabis business ventures.

Randy Streig currently works in real estate and attended the Cannabis For Profit discussion to learn more about the business. He said he has a passion for cannabis and is looking to help with and invest in the development of a partnership with his friends. “It’s something we have an interest and passion for,” Streig said, “and we want to pursue it together.”

Sloan said Lucky Leaf will be back in 2020 for round two of the expo in hopes it will exceed expectations again.