The burgeoning hemp and CBD industry in Texas is having its first-ever convention in Dallas this week. The Texas Hemp Convention which runs through Thursday has attracted more than 300 vendors and thousands of people.
“Texas is a prime spot for this, we have a huge agricultural group here and it’s just starting,” kush.com VP and event co-organizer Alex Hodschayan said.
The convention comes as the industry rapidly accelerates in Texas despite no clear state regulations, no federal or state product oversight and almost no training to help law enforcement discern hemp and CBD products from marijuana.
“For me to drive these down here from Colorado, I could have easily sat somewhere in a county jail waiting for them to get their test results to make sure it matches the paper work I have,” vendor Carl Goldberg said.
Organizers of the convention said education is a primary focus, acknowledging the industry still has a bit of a Wild West feel where it’s been largely up to producers and manufactures to self-police the product.
“Really it’s very wild, we don’t know that accurate labels are being put on, there’s a lot of false claims being made,” Hodschayan said.
Hodschayan estimates the industry in Texas, once regulations are finalized, will be worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars. And Texas, due to among other things it’s size and forgiving growing season, is uniquely positioned to capitalize.
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“Texas has the ability to grow more hemp than the rest of the country put together,” Goldberg said.