National Cannabis Summit or Weedstock?

Summary and opinion by Mariama McGee.

You can expect exactly what you would expect at a National Cannabis Summit; a man trying to sell his turbine for marijuana growers, a sales pitch about the five reasons to consider a pen vape. In another instance, there was an attendee selling the official “wake and bake” breakfast, marijuana-infused pancake/crepe batter and a non-proofread financial planner brochure full of misspelled words.

The summit also explored the cannabis industry in a more industrialized perspective. One speaker expressed her excitement about the $11 million in sales during the first quarter of legalized recreational marijuana. The summit had approximately four speeches and 31 sessions including five to Native Americans who have the possibility to grow and sell on their own land and three to medical marijuana. Two common sessions were the change of marijuana’s drug classification now a Schedule I drug and the correlation between legalization and gay rights movement. 

I think the two major interesting things that intrigued me were the keynote speaker who was Robert O’Neill, the leader of SEAL team 6 who has claimed to have shot and killed Osama bin Laden and the fact that you can get arrested for smoking pot in a state where it is legal.  Andrew Passen, the executive of the company that organized the conference said:“We really wanted to be different. A lot of cannabis shows don’t even have a keynote speaker. We wanted someone to stir emotion, good, bad, or indifferent.” This is very interesting to me because not only does he not talk about the use of cannabis to treat PTSD but also he talks about the several missions he has participated in. If I was to hear him speak, I personally do now know how I would feel especially given that I would be thinking about the connection between PTSD and cannibus and if there was a link at all.

The other interesting thing that caught my attention was that the writer, Henry Alford could not find a spot to smoke yet he was able to find numerous places that sold weed. It is legal to smoke in Colorado but it is illegal to smoke in all public areas and being a tourist, there isn’t really a concrete place for you to smoke.  Overall, I think that the National Cannabis Summit sounds like an interesting conference to make connections and try many dispensaries than a Weedstock.

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