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Despite Legal Status, Texas Businesses Bet On Marijuana

Texas is oil country. Some entrepreneurs are betting it can also be CBD oil, and edibles, and dab, and flower — and so on — country.

Texas is a Red State, particularly outside the cities. However, voters there seem to be mellowing on marijuana use. A 2017 University of Texas poll found 83 percent favor medical use and 51 percent would vote for full legalization.

The Dallas Morning News has reported an uptick of cannabis-related businesses in the state. Some are servicing businesses in states where the substance is legal. Others are betting on eventual legalization at home.

One company found cannabis-friendly states came knocking, eager to employ their food quality testing products.

“If you buy into this and say cannabis is a miracle drug, it’s exciting as all hell because you sense you’re changing the world,” Peter Ricca, chairman of Ricca Chemical, told the paper.

He also said he hopes the experience would put his company ahead of competitors when the Lone Star State legalizes the substance.

El Paso was the first American city to restrict cannabis in 1915 following the killing of a police officer. In 2015, then-Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill allowing CBD oil to treat severe epilepsy.

CBD is one of the two major compounds in marijuana. The most well-known is THC, which contributes to the euphoria commonly associated with use. CBD helps with chronic pain and insomnia and in some applications won’t get a user that that feeling.

So far, three companies have applied for state permits to grow cannabis for use by epileptics. Compassionate Cultivation has one of the permits. CEO Morris Denton says there have been challenges working with the state, educating medical professionals, and even convincing his business partners.

“I don’t spend my days worrying about things I can’t control,” he said. “I can’t control what our federal administration does or doesn’t do. I can’t control what Jeff Sessions may or may not do. The only thing that I can control is the performance of this business.”

A bill to fully legalize cannabis in 2015 passed in a statehouse committee before running out of time for the full legislature to vote on it. It’s author, a Tea Party member and religious conservative said, “I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix.”

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