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Cannabis summit in Cleveland this weekend pushes for broader acceptance of much maligned plant

Crowds of people at a cannabis conference [shutterstock / arindambanerjee]
Crowds of people at a cannabis conference [shutterstock / arindambanerjee]

The effort to decriminalize, legalize, and in many ways - legitimize - marijuana use in this country has been a long strange trip to say the least.

In 2012, Colorado and Washington were the first two states to legalize recreational use, but legal battles long preceded that action.

Here in Ohio, lawmakers passed a law to establish a medical cannabis program in 2016.

Efforts to get total legalization onto the Ohio ballot have been attempted over the last several years, with a statewide referendum expected to be on the ballot next November.

But while complete legal usage may still be some ways away, advocates in the marijuana (or cannabis) industry have been promoting not only the health benefits of the plant, but touting the economic boon as well.

They point to revenue in states like Michigan where customers spent more than $1.1 BILLION dollars on marijuana -- resulting in more than $42 million being distributed to counties and communities across the state.

This hour, we'll discuss the evolving landscape for marijuana across the state - ahead of a large event happening this weekend in Northeast Ohio.

The Ohio Cannabis Health and Business Summit takes places Saturday and Sunday at the IX Center.

Experts from the medical, legal, and commercial marijuana industries will be with us for today’s show.

- Harry Bernstein, Executive Director, Verde Compliance Partners

- Jared Maloof, Founder and CEO, Standard Wellness

- Arleen Crider, Nurse and Medical Marijuana prescriber

- Ynez Henningsen, the first patient to legally purchase marijuana in Ohio