Today is April 20th - 4/20 - is an unofficial holiday for pot smokers to celebrate the cannabis culture, but in Austin, a group of Texas entrepreneurs with high hopes of making money off marijuana, are meeting for a first-of-its-kind conference, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
The Austin Cannabis Entrepreneur Conference was set up by Hugh Forrest, the head of programming for the annual South By Southwest conference.
"Texas is very early on this cycle," he says. "But the landscape is change very, very quickly and when landscapes are changing quickly, that's a satiation that's ripe for entrepreneurs."
He says people attending will get a sense of the opportunity in Texas. The marijuana industry is projected to increase to over $30 billion by 2021.
The two-day conference is discussing opportunities in both the medicinal and non-medicinal uses of marijuana. Right now in Texas, low-THC cannabis oil is available to a small subset of epileptic patients.
But one of today's speakers, Heather Fazio with the Marijuana Leadership Campaign, says any kind of profit that these entrepreneurs hope to make in the future is connected to patient access.
"Times are changing. People are getting serious about reforming Texas's marijuana's laws and preparing for the legal market that will follow."
She points to her co-speaker, Republican State Rep. Jason Isaac, to show that it's not just democrats who are pressing the issue.
"People are having open and honest conversations about how prohibition has affected our communities and our families," she says.
Forrest agrees."It seems like things are changing very quickly, and there is the potential for new business models."