What's inside? Phoenix cannabis conference expected to attract thousands to downtown

Posted at 9:14 AM, Oct 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 21:55:24-04

As thousands are expected to flock to the Phoenix Convention Center this weekend, Payton Curry will do his best to promote the use of cannabis.

RELATED: Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo comes to Phoenix

The flourishcannabis owner says Arizona is front and center on the national cannabis conversation.

"We've had the privilege of learning from other states but with that said, the Arizona cannabis market is very different than from most of our neighbors," said Curry.

Certainly the topic has generated strong opinions from both sides of the cannabis conversation.

From commercials to debates, Proposition 205 which would make recreational pot legal has generated strong interest around the state.

Voters will decide 205's fate next month.

Whether you are for or against Proposition 205, the topic certainly has interest.

According to Curry, last year the cannabis conference attracted more than 6,000 people.

"This year we expected to see upwards of 9,000 attendees," said Curry.

When asked what will happen inside the walls of the Phoenix Convention Center, Curry said there will be several demonstrations and information booths including cooking segments which he will host.

"It's (medical marijuana) is the fastest growing industry in the United States and is comprised of doctors, lawyers and your modern day Bob Marley's, my business is about cooking with it and even ways to cook with cannabis that doesn't provide the psychotropic effects, you know a lot of what I cook doesn't make you high."

While Curry and others make their push for the cannabis market, it's clear others are strongly against it.

"There is not one single problem that is going to be solved here in Arizona by passing Prop 205," said Adam Deguire, campaign manager for the Say No to Prop 205 group. Deguire cites statistics from a report by a federal agency that looked at the impact of marijuana legalization in Colorado in 2013.

"You've seen [marijuana-related] traffic deaths increase by 62% since legalization. You've seen accidental ingestion of these edibles by children up 600%" Deguire said.

Deguire also stressed that virtually every law enforcement group in Arizona had come out against the proposal, including the sheriff's association, Arizona police association, and the Fraternal Order of Police.