Texas Does Everything Big – Cannabis Might Be Next.
Texas has rightfully earned its distinction as a conservative state. That said, the Lone Star State also understands business better than most. Just as Austin and other cities became Silicon Valley South, a growing number of proponents now realize that cannabis in Texas could become the state’s next high earning commodity.
While a range of figures has been tossed about, analysis from Arcview Market Research found that Texas’s legalized cannabis market could reach $3 billion in just a few years if recreational legislation was enacted. Using trends from Colorado and forecasts on the Florida market, Arcview determined that Texas is staring down a tremendous opportunity.
With major cities in the state like Austin, Houston and Dallas more affluent and diverse, residents have warmed to cannabis. This is especially true in the music community that includes festivals like SXSW, Austin City Limits and just the general year-round music scenes from hip hop to punk.
While the music community wasn’t its target audience, Arcview did recently host its Investor Forum in the state capital - indicating its confidence in Texas’ $3 billion future. With Texans warming to the idea of using cannabis for more medical and recreational purposes, the prospect of legalized marijuana in Texas could be as big and bright as the stars at night.
Texans Aim to Reform Cannabis Laws in 2019
While residents warm to the idea of cannabis use in Texas, law reformers appear focused on medical expansion and ending possession arrests in the next year. Those seeking to reform the laws represent a diverse collection of the state's citizens. At the first Texas Marijuana Policy Conference in August, leaders from the medical field, policymakers, military veterans and religious leaders convened to discuss their shared goals and priorities. There, they established the two causes as their priorities moving forward.
It is likely that the reformers will rely heavily on the limited access to medical cannabis under the current Texas Compassionate Use Act, which only allows for children with intractable epilepsy to use low-THC medicine if other prescribed drugs fail to work. As such, at least 345,000 residents with epilepsy alone don't qualify under the current law.
Residents from across the aisle now seem aligned on the topic as more understand how cannabis may help children, veterans and the everyday Texan in need. With growing support from voters, lawmakers joined the cause as well. While attempts to expand medical and adult use access have been made, little to nothing has reached the floor for a vote. However, with mounting voter pressure and the potential for lucrative gains, the situation could change sooner than later.
Texas Makes Steps Into Cannabis
While the Texas Marijuana Policy Conference marked its first year of operation, the state saw additional activity that may highlight where the future is heading. An effort undertaken by the Foundation for Informed Texans is focusing on expanding medical cannabis knowledge and support in rural Texas. In the ads, which will air alongside the slew of typical midterm election campaigns, the group pushes for expanded access to its medical marijuana program while easing negative cannabis attitudes in hopes of changing legislation during the 2019 session.
Meanwhile, the inaugural classes started up for the DFW Academy of Cannabis Science this past August. The first cannabis course for the school was launched after being recognized as "a new economy" according to the school's President, Holly Law, who lost a parent due to opioid addiction. She expanded on her thoughts with the local Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate, adding that "The early bird gets the worm...You look at all these CBD shops that are popping up all over the place. Well, what do you think those are going to be when the law changes? Those are going to be dispensaries."
In addition to the summer course, students can enroll in a 10-week class which begins in October.
What Happens Now?
We can’t say if, or when, Texas will expand its medical cannabis program. However, one thing is clear: support for cannabis in Texas is growing. From the medical to recreational uses, rosin stands to play a significant impact once access expands. With concentrates sweeping markets across the U.S., it is expected that such a level of interest would carry over into Texas as well. With rosin serving as a solventless, low-cost option, cultivators and home users should find an immense range of benefits with a rosin press machine.
At this point, we still have to play the waiting game. However, with Texans warming to cannabis, and rural Texas receiving a heavy dose of positive messaging, legislation could change in 2019. While Texas may be deep red in much of the state, the color green is starting to change the minds of all affiliations.