DORAL (CBSMiami) – It could become Florida’s next big cash crop. At least that’s what people attending two weekend marijuana conferences are hoping.

The conferences are designed to answer questions about growing, prescribing, and distributing medical marijuana.

“We’ve got legal experts, medical experts, dispensary operators, growers and people are here to impart their knowledge,” said Robert Platshorn.

Platshorn, who spent 30 years in jail for marijuana smuggling, is a big supporter of legalizing medical marijuana.  He’s organized a conference at the The Club at Emerald Hills.

Hollywood Saturday which could bring in as many as 200 people.

“People are coming out of the walls ready to invest they want to start growing they want to open dispensaries,” said Platshorn. “We’ve got doctors coming who want to write for medical marijuana.”

Governor Rick Scott has already signed a bill which will allow a low THC strain of cannabis for medical conditions.

Amendment 2 on November’s ballot would allow more widespread use of medical marijuana.

Conference organizers are counting on that amendment getting the thumbs up.    If it does, though, experts warn, getting into the pot business isn’t so easy

“There’s no such thing as a lazy hippie growing top grade medical marijuana,” said Mike Boutin, a marijuana cultivator and educator.

Platshorn added, “This is a reality check. It’s not come on in and learn to get rich because it’s not going to happen. If you’re a good businessman this is going to be a fabulous business, but it’s not a get rich quick scheme.”

A meeting in Doral echoed that message. Marijuana growers and distributors from Colorado discussed the benefits and challenges of the business ahead of a Saturday conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Doral.

“We also try and educate people on how they become a part of this how if you’re an entrepreneur,” said Chris Houghton with the Marijuana Business Academy.

“There’s a huge potential of opportunity for money and for job development especially in the state of Florida,” said Chris Ryan. Ryan is from Tampa and interested in getting into the marijuana business. He has a personal reason for getting involved.

“I’m a cancer survivor. I went through 48-weeks of chemotherapy when I was 19-years-old,” said Ryan. “I got a lot of relief from using cannabis at that time but I want to support those who desperately need that.”

The conference in Hollywood is all day Saturday at the The Club at Emerald Hills and costs about $400.For more information about that conference, you can visit

Another conference is also happening in Doral. For more information on that, go to the website.

Watch Maggie Newland’s report, click here.



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