Thousands attend Cannabis Conference in Phoenix

Posted at 2:44 PM, Oct 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-15 20:11:37-04

This weekend, thousands of people are flocking to Phoenix to visit the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo happening until Sunday at the Phoenix Convention Center.

This event is happening just weeks away from the November election, where Proposition 205 will be on the ballot.

That measure means it will be up to registered voters to decide if marijuana should be legalized for recreational use.

There are roughly 200 vendors who have set up their booths inside the convention center as a way to showcase the current state of the medical marijuana industry and how it could/would change if Proposition 205 were to pass. 

Tourist David Beckett is using this conference as a way to network and Phoenix seems like a good place for him to expand his business to.

"Walking around the downtown scene, it seems more or less like a Denver-feel," said Beckett.

The only thing missing in the comparison is recreational marijuana.

"You know, the market down here is really untapped," explained Beckett.

Beckett works for Security Grade Protective Services - a business offering their services to places selling cannabis in Colorado.

"Security in certain areas are more important," Beckett said. "Being down along the border with the whole cannabis world, we realize that it's probably a little bit more intel then it would be even up in Colorado."

But, the opposition here in our state are looking down on Beckett's home-state.

"What we want people to remember, is that we've seen this experiment in Colorado and it hasn't gone as well as they probably would have hoped," said Adam Deguire.

Deguire is with the 'No on Prop 205' campaign and he said, from regulation to the economy it is just not working.

"We don't want to bring the consequences that they're suffering to Arizona," Deguire explained.

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.

Overall, organizers with the conference this weekend said, these booths are here to answer the questions of voters before deciding on the ballot in November.

"There's a lot of mystery around marijuana," said Demitri Downing with the conference. "So, what we're doing here is transparency, accountability; we're showcasing the existing industry and allowing people to see what will expand into a larger industry."

If you would like to attend, Sunday is the last day. You can check out tickets here