People dressed in business attire with jackets and suits. Many women wore dresses but they were of dark color fabric, projecting a serious image.
The Viridian Cannabis Investment Conference, held last week in Fort Lauderdale, was not for your average, run-of-the-mill pot smoker. Business leaders, Wall Street investors, entrepreneurs and attorneys made up the conference hosted by the Westin in northern Broward County.
Florida is poised to become the first state in the South to legalize cannabis for medical purposes. A constitutional amendment is, once again, set to appear on November’s ballot, asking Floridians if they approve of the substance. Last time it was on the ballot it got 58 percent, just short of the 60 percent it needed to pass.
“We can’t count the chickens before they hatch,” warned NORML Vice Chairman Norm Kent, making a reference to his farmer friend Arnold from New York’s Catskill Mountains. “We can’t be opening up stores before the votes are counted.”
Kent was one of many speakers at Viridian Capital Advisors event. Sue Sisley, a medical doctor, addressed the situation with veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dr. Sisley owns a letter of commendation from former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
“Twenty-two veterans a day are lost to suicide,” Dr. Sisley said. “This is a public health crisis.”
Dr. Sisley is conducting a cannabis study in Arizona and Maryland in relation to veterans who suffer from PTSD. She said the veterans she has seen were “like zombies.” The veterans’ hospitals, Dr. Sisley said, are “pouring pills down their throats.”
Scott Calhoun, a Gulf War vet, agreed.
“The VA prescribed me 75 pills,” Calhoun told a press conference at Wednesday’s event. “Big Pharma wants to see me drugged out.”