Marijuana investors, suppliers gather for investment conference – KHOU

More than 100 attended the two-day event, which is the first of its kind in Texas

Marijuana is illegal in Texas, but that didn’t stop suppliers and investors of the legal marijuana trade from coming together at the Westin Hotel in Memorial City.

More than 100 people attended the two-day Marijuana Investment Conference on Oct. 5-6, the first of its kind in Texas.

“We feel there is a very close parallel between the typical Houston high net worth oil and gas investor and the cannabis investor,” said organizer Doug Leighton. “Very high risks, but very high reward.”

Leighton is with Duchess Capital, the main sponsor of the event. He said the event was not about lobbying to legalize marijuana.

“The illegal market for marijuana is $50 billion a year, the legal market is $1.4 billion, so that gap has to be narrowed,” Leighton said.

One of those hoping to meet with investors was Dr. Elias Jackson, who runs a Houston-based biotech firm.

“An industry like this comes along once every generation,” Jackson said. “US steel, alcohol, etc, and this particular industry can rival the pharmaceutical industry.”

And Frank Marino could be one of those potential investors.

He is with the country’s first cannabis investment fund and said there is more to the industry than grow houses and heat lamps.

“There are loads of opportunities in software and online systems, and cash management systems, and regulatory systems that (are) helping to support and growing the industry,” Marino said.

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