By Julian Gill Houston Chronicle
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The course will cover a number of cannabis-related topics, including how to successfully cultivate hemp and medical marijuana, how cannabis affects the central nervous system and the chemical composition of the plant.
Today might be your last chance to grab seats for a five-week seminar designed to give local entrepreneurs an edge in the growing U.S. cannabis industry.
The Houston Academy of Cannabis Science, which is part of Pharmacology University, will start hosting classes every Saturday starting this weekend at 8204 Westglen Drive.
Tickets cost $420 per person, and as of Tuesday morning, roughly 15 of 50 seats were still available, organizers said.
Illustrating the growth of the drug's medical uses in Texas, Dr. Leavery Davidson, the academy's CEO, cited the accessibility of CBD oil, a hemp extract, at smoke shops throughout the state.
She also pointed to the recently passed farm bill, which, among other things, legalizes hemp for farmers.
"As CBD stores and other things are opening up, people will be able to have more networking opportunities for jobs," she said. "So that's pretty exciting."
The first Saturday class will cover the history of cannabis and hemp, as well as federal and state laws that apply to medical practices, starting a business and investing in the industry.
Taught by existing industry professionals and attorneys, the following weeks will cover a number of cannabis-related topics, including how to successfully cultivate hemp and medical marijuana, how cannabis affects the central nervous system and the chemical composition of the plant.
More than a dozen marijuana-related bills have been filed for the 86th legislative session, which started on Tuesday.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Texas marijuana policy groups are prioritizing a bill that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
They're also focused on a second bill that would legalize marijuana for medical use.
Locally, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has already taken steps to effectively decriminalize low-level marijuana possession in the county. In 2017, she launched the Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program, which gives suspects caught with less than four ounces of marijuana up to 90 days to complete a four-hour class in decision-making.
She previously said the program saves the county about $27 million per year, though a recent Houston Chronicle analysis shows that implementation has been spotty.
Nationwide, the legal cannabis industry is expected to draw an estimated $57 billion in revenue by 2027, according to Forbes.
When it comes to the future of cannabis in Texas and across the country, there's no shortage of enthusiasm for Devae Davidson, Leavery's daughter who handles customer relations for the academy. "It's a thriving industry," she said. "I believe its going to save the world."
Tickets for the upcoming classes are available on academy's website here. If you can't make to this series, another five-week seminar will be held starting Feb. 23, Leavery Davidson said.