dallas observer

Texas: Professional Marijuana Conference To Draw Thousands To Ft. Worth

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Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo Texas
February 26 – 28, 2016 at the Fort Worth Convention Center

Texas will enter the national spotlight in marijuana law reform as thousands of cannabis professionals from across the nation prepare to converge at the Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo Texas, Friday, February 26 – Sunday, February 28, at the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston St., in Fort Worth.

Presented by the Southwest Expo Group, the Dallas Observer, and Texas Cannabis Industry Association, the historic cannabis event will be held from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily, and is expected to draw attendees from across the country and throughout the state. Information and tickets are available at swccexpo.com, or by calling 1-888-729-8199 or 1-602-451-2647.

“The support of the Texas Cannabis Industry Association (TCIA), and Women Grow Texas, NORML Texas, and MPP Texas as local presenting sponsors will help make the convention possible,” said Rory Mendoza, expo chief executive 0fficer.

The first-ever Texas cannabis conference will highlight medical cannabis and the new Texas CDB laws, cannabis in athletics, business-to-business networking, industry expert guest speakers, interactive workshops, education on Texas MJ procedures and policies, and more than 150 floor exhibitors.

Weed for Warriors project for Veterans' affairs and the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition are expected to have a large presence at the event.

Texas: CBD Is Not Enough -- Legislators Introduce Real Medical Marijuana Bill

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

There are encouraging signs of actual marijuana law reform in Texas this week. One of the happiest indicators is that the introduction of limited "CBD-only" cannabis oil bills doesn't necessarily keep better medical marijuana legislation from being introduced.

You see, soon after state Sen. Kevin Eltile and state Rep. Stephanie Klick -- both Republicans -- introduced their plan to make a very limited subset of CBD oil available to an even smaller subset of patients who would benefit, the push-back started, reports Stephen Young at the Dallas Observer.

The law was misguided, said Shaun McAlister, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (DFW NORML). McAlister pointed out that it failed to account for the complexity that makes cannabis an effective treatment for so many conditions.

Dean Bortell, the father of 9-year-old Alexis Bortell, who has intractable epilepsy, said the bill didn't go far enough, despite it being specifically targeted at his daughter's condition. The Bortells now live in Colorado after leaving Texas to find an effective cannabis-based treatment for Alexis, but they continue to fight for medical marijuana reform in the Lone Star State.

Texas: Dallas County To Experiment With Not Arresting People Caught With Weed

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

People caught with small amounts of marijuana in Dallas may soon be able to avoid going to jail.

County criminal justice officials will pilot a cite-and-release program early next year allowing those caught with less than two ounces of marijuana, a Class B misdmeanor, avoid a trip to jail, reports Matthew Watkins at The Dallas Morning News.

If applied countywide, the change in enforcement policy could result in hundreds fewer arrests each month. The goal, according to officials, is to reduce jail crowding and free up police resources.

"This is about not toying up officers and bringing them back out onto the street," said Ron Stretcher, director of criminal justice for Dallas County.

A Texas law enacted back in 2007 makes the ticket approach possible. The measure, which received little attention when it passed, has been largely ignored since.

The the idea has gained support in recent years, and not just from marijuana advocates. Some conservatives have touted it as a way to save law enforcement money. It costs about $63 a day to house an inmate in the Dallas County Jail.

But the measure is getting some predictable resistance from law enforcement. Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston said he'd rather see the Legislature address changes in marijuana laws at the state level; police officers should enforce the laws that are on the books, he said.

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