High-profile speakers will take the stage to discuss the future of medical marijuana at the inaugural Southeast Cannabis Conference & Expo (SECC Expo). The convention, which will run June 9 through 11 at the Broward County Convention Center, marks the first conference in Florida dedicated to medical marijuana since voters approved Amendment 2 for medicinal pot in November.
During the event, attendees will hear from researchers, presenters, businessmen, keynote speakers, politicians, professional athletes, and others about medicinal cannabis and how it can benefit those who chose to inform themselves about it. Everything from learning how to invest in medical marijuana to how to acquire it for personal use will be covered at the SECC by knowledgeable leaders in each field.
More than 60 speakers and 200-plus exhibitors are expected at the two-day event. The list of personalities scheduled to be presenters or speakers during the weekend includes a name South Florida sports fans should be familiar with: former Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams. A longtime cannabis advocate, Williams infamously had multiple run-ins with the league over his use of marijuana and even took a hiatus from the NFL over the issue. He insists the drug helped him deal with a heavy workload that took a toll on his body. At the conference, Williams will headline the Pro-Athletes Pro-Cannabis VIP meet-and-greet Friday, June 9, from 6 to 11 p.m. Williams will be joined by other athletes who also promote marijuana not as a street drug for recreational purposes but as legal and effective medicine.
Williams, who will appear as the keynote speaker for the event, is expected to explain his belief that not only should marijuana be taken off the list of drugs banned from use by pro athletes, but also that its use should be encouraged for those who legitimately need to cope with the health difficulties associated with playing professional sports.
"Ricky was one of the first players to openly discuss the medical benefits of cannabis for athletes and has since become one of the most well-recognized faces of the legalization movement," Demitri Downing, executive director of this year's event, said in a news release. "We proudly welcome him in his return to Florida and invite the public to hear his compelling story,”
Also speaking at the event will be longtime talk-show host and cannabis advocate Montel Williams. Williams is one of the founding fathers of medical marijuana advocacy and has used the drug to cope with multiple sclerosis for the past 17 years. Williams is scheduled to present a keynote address Saturday, June 10, at 4 p.m.
According to Downing, the inaugural expo will explain what the future of medical marijuana will bring and how attendees can reap the benefits of new laws that could be passed.
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“Many people do not know the answers to basic cannabis health-care questions. ‘How can I find a doctor?’ ‘Where do I go for information?’ We created the SECC Expo to be the first hub to provide a comprehensive understanding of those key questions and unveil the future of Florida’s program,” he says.
"Imagine if someone allowed you as a high-school senior to spend a week auditing any and all classes at the local university. What would you learn? This is more knowledge than you will know what to do with, and the ability to discuss it in an open setting helps vet the good from the bad information."
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 9, through Sunday, June 11, at the Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets start at $50 per day. Admission is free for minors accompanied by an adult, medical cannabis cardholders, seniors aged 65 or older, and U.S. military veterans. Preconference workshops and special events Friday, June 9, require separate tickets. Visit seccexpo.com.