The cannabis info website, Leafly.com, has just broken the news about how SXSW (that little gathering in Austin, TX) will be introducing a bit of "green" into the festival (and I'm not talking electric cars). Texas is not a legal state, so there will not be any (authorized) pot smoking. However, this year's festival will be offering three days of insight and debate among cannabis experts, political advocates, scientists, and entrepreneurs. And it's all sponsored by Leafly.
Photo source: PixaBay.com
The Cannabusiness track, as it is being called, opens on Thursday, March 14, at the Hilton Austin Downtown, and runs through Saturday, March 16. This is a first for SXSW, but lately, that is nothing new for the festival (remember when it was just a music festival?). It will be a pretty large exposition, with an assembly of forty-four keynotes, panels, and one-on-ones.
Leafly promises cutting-edge cannabis science, CannaTech, activism efforts, entrepreneurial sessions, and panels on subjects such as criminal justice, cannabinoid research, and sexual health. What is probably most interesting (and particularly apropos, given the festival's location in the center of the Lone Star State) is a panel called “The Politics of Marijuana: What’s in Store for Texas”. Speakers on this panel include Heather Fazio, an advocate of individual liberty and personal responsibility; AJ "Andy" Louderback, Jackson County Sheriff; State Senator José Menéndez; and Alex Samuels, community reporter for The Texas Tribune.
There will also be a panel session called “Can We Heal Ourselves From the War on Drugs?” with entrepreneur and activist Felicia Carbajal of Smart Pharma; Chas Moore of the Austin Justice Coalition; Taylor Pendergrass from the ACLU, and Latorie Wallace of We BAKED, to highlight cultural, medical, and legal solutions as a way forward from the "injustices and systemic racism of the war on drugs".
Photo source: PixaBay.com
As a special treat, former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, will speak. Boehner famously joined the board of Acreage Holdings last year. He will offer insight into his prohibitionist-to-investor transformation with Acreage CEO Kevin Murphy and CNBC “Fast Money” host Tim Seymour. Also in store is a history lesson on pot given by Steve DeAngelo, a lifelong entrepreneur and activist. His presentation will trace the path of cannabis from ancient times to the present day. He will also give an overview of how modern science has validated the therapeutic use of cannabinoids.
Finally, for a nice place to cool off, Leafly will be opening up "The Leafly Lounge" throughout the Cannabusiness track. They will be serving terpene-flavored beverages and offer a chance to hob knob with the speakers at the event. Now, remember, if you are going, Texas is still a no-weed zone, and this newsletter does not condone the illegal use of marijuana. So do not indulge while you are there, because, if you do, you may not remember the good parts.