If the phrase "weed convention" evokes an image of Cheech Marin and Mike Gordon fumbling through a heady fog to get a PowerPoint presentation to work, let us stop you there. Yes, the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo is coming soon to Fort Worth, but that might not mean what you'd expect. 

The two-day event on Feb. 27  and 28 emphasizes the budding billion-dollar industry, with programming including educational seminars, networking opportunities for businesses, product launches and B2B support. In case this needs stating: "There will be no cannabis on site or used at the expo," seeing as how it is yet illegal to possess any amount of marijuana in the state of Texas. 

Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo

But, don't let that clog your bong. 

Lectures on topics like "The Future of Cannabis in Texas" and "Growing Hemp/Cannabis in Texas" fall on the agenda, as do ones about "Technology in Cannabis," "Veterans PTSD Research Presented by Grow for Vets," and "Texas Laws and Regulation Presented by Texas A&M Law School," all of which keep an eye to the possibility -- and perhaps inevitability -- of local legalization. If you're looking for celebrity endorsements, the "Cannabis and Athletics Presented by The Gridiron Cannabis Coalition" features special presentations by NFL all-stars Jim McMahon, Ricky Williams and Kyle Turley. 

At $50 per day (and with prices expected to increase), the convention is not, perhaps, for the most casual enthusiast. But, as the industry emerges on a state-by-state level, it faces unique challenges, particularly when it comes to federally regulated patents and trademarks.  Entrepreneurs banking on eventual legalization throughout the southwest -- and the big business it's sure to bring -- can wake and bake with information and connections from the conference as a head-start.

Plan your life: The Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo takes place Feb. 27-28 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.  Military veterans can receive admission discounts by entering Vet420 at checkout. 

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