Convention cultivates marijuana business opportunities | News

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Here in the heart of the New England’s blossoming marijuana industry, thousands gathered this weekend for the first convention aimed at showcasing business opportunities — and jobs — in a national market projected to reach $2 trillion over the next decade.

The message for Connecticut cannabis connoisseurs was clear from Massachusetts: Don’t wait for elected officials to act.

“Make a lot of noise,” said Dick Evans, a lawyer from nearby Northampton who led the state’s marijuana-reform effort for 40 years, and succeeded in a statewide 2016 ballot initiative.

“Make a lot of phone calls,” he said in an interview following an afternoon keynote address in the MassMutual Center. “Show up. Be heard. That’s the cardinal rule in all political change and that’s what I encourage people in Connecticut to do. And it’s tough to do on this issue, because a lot of people, still, to this day, don’t like to

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