PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- An artificial marijuana plant is the closest thing to pot you'll get under the David L. Lawrence Convention Center roof this weekend. There's not a joint in site.
"Not at all," says Bryan Doner, the CEO of Compassionate Certification Centers. "This is really a medical focus more than anything."
People have come to Pittsburgh from all over the world for the 2017 World Medical Cannabis Conference & Expo.
Retired football player Ricky Williams, who supports legalizing marijuana, was the star attraction there Friday night. Forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht also spoke.
KDKA's David Highfield Reports:
Elsewhere at the convention, those from all angles of the medical cannabis world are touting their wares, including the folks at HTG Supply who've been helping farmer with plants for a long time. Now, they're finding new life in marijuana growth.
"What we're looking at here is a double-ended, thousand-watt, HID light. This is becoming wildly popular for a lot of commercial growers and the larger scale operations," said Ernie Twerdok, of HTG Supply.
While there have been expos for the marijuana-growing industry before, this is the first time the medical side is so heavily represented with the emphasis on the need.
"Things like epilepsy, chronic pain, PTSD, potentially autism," said Doner.
While you'll find the pots to grow in, the security precautions, every part of getting to the end forms of consumption represented, the organizers say they want everyone to remember one thing.
"The end user in all this is a patient, it's a real person with real symptoms and real suffering.
KDKA's John Shumway Reports:
The conference is about a marriage of the industry and the patient need.
State Sen. Mike Folmer says Pennsylvania is moving towards about 25 producers; and statewide, at the max, 50 licensed dispensers that can open three locations. Only about a half dozen in Allegheny County.
To get it, you'll need a doctor who's gone thorugh the process of getting certified by the state to assure the system addresses real needs.
If everything goes as planned, the dispensaries could be open in the spring next year.
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