I’m a third generation Texan on my moms side, and an Iranian immigrant daughter on my dads side. But I was born in Austin, Texas, and it’s where I reside and operate RESTART CBD, one of the top CBD dispensaries in town.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved cannabis. While friends were dabbling with alcohol and other drugs in high school and college, I was exploring my young adult life through the lens of cali kush, and afghan train wreck. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for underage use of illicit drugs, but in a way I want you to think back to the first time you ever got high, you probably felt really giggly, ate one too many cookies or bags of chips, and had a really really good nights rest. In fact, marijuana is pretty harmless compared to alcohol, tobacco, and even sugar. Yet it is pained with this nasty stigma that this is a Schedule I drug being compared to heroin, LSD, and meth.

Thankfully some of that is easing up on a federal level because you now have a sweeping 33 states that offer medical marijuana, and 11 that also include recreational use. Unfortunately, Texas falls into neither of those categories.

So I dream. I dream of a day when I’ll be able to legally purchase marijuana in Texas, and I’m sure you do too. Some, myself included, speculate it won’t be for a while, half a decade or more is my guess. But let’s think of what this might look like if Texas were a fully functioning legal state. I definitely have some ideas.

First off, as a state, we have two of the most loved, and high profile cannabis consumers as residents. Willie Nelson is synonymous with Weed just like Snoop Dog, and if you ever pass through Austin, you’ll hear of the story that theres a secret smoking patio at the Austin City Limits venue which Willie Nelson helped establish overlooking a street, named after this dearly beloved Texan himself. Another popular Austinite is Matthew McConnoghey, and we know two things to be true, he loves his Longhorns, and he loves his marijuana. The famous actor has been recorded multiple times admitting to one of his favorite ways to relax, and we too chant his “alright, alright, alright” mentality as a city.

Not that those two are direct reasons WHY marijuana is going to thrive in Texas, but a good starter, we have major weed icons and that’s more than a lot of other states can say. I just imagine Texas coming in and dominating, not just because we’re the biggest state, but because we have the biggest heart. We are the south, and we have our own code down here, it’s truly cowboy country, mixed with major tech hubs like Austin, Dallas and Houston and I think there is a lot of disruption to be had in the cannabis state in Texas.

We’re even seeing glimmers of that right now with the passing of CBD products to be grown and sold in Texas. So we’re one step in that direction. For us, we’re operating one of the top CBD brands and I know people who enjoy marijuana (myself included) don’t get the mind alteration with CBD, but it definitely helps take the edge off and provides major pain relief for my body which is key when trying to age gracefully. People will come into my CBD shop, RESTART CBD, and call us a dispensary and it brings me so much joy. Since neither medical or recreational marijuana is legal, we really can only operate in the hemp market at this time, but if it’s any taste of legal weed, it’s exciting.

When it comes to CBD you have all the same types of products, we sell pretty much anything you could think of to find at a marijuana dispensary, just made with industrial hemp. We sell CBD cookies, wax vape carts, loose bud/herb, topicals, and the list goes on. Freeze dried ice cream snacks packed with 25mg of CBD, or full spectrum honey sticks with 15mg of CBD. The product landscape is here, we just have to apply it within our own four walls. That’s the hitch with the marijuana market, since it isn’t federally legal products can’t cross state lines, it puts it into interstate commerce and that breaks the federal law. So brands that operate in multi-states have set up processing in each and every state. Which right now seems like a lot, but that’s how you plat the game.

So I’m torn, I don’t know if Texas will go legal because the federal law changes, in which case you could essentially travel anywhere in the USA with your marijuana products. I think a similar application like alcohol might be established, like you can travel with alcohol but it has to be a closed container, etc. But then I think of the drug testing laws, the employer testing laws, etc. It’s all going to have to evolve, so that seems like a pretty big federal undertaking, let alone a massive state undertaking. Which is why I think we see some progress but still feel so far in the dark ages.

Especially as a Texan, I fear we’re late to the game but at the same time we’re rightly positioned because we’re setting up the CBD industry which can have an easy pivot into THC/marijuana. So I’ll continue to dream that dream, of driving down the streets of Austin, hanging out at Zilker Park, and being able to walk into a dispensary and purchase legal marijuana in my home state and I look forward to that day, and until then I’m going to take you on the journey as I explore that from the drivers seat as one of Texas’ cannabis experts.

If you have a dream about your city in Texas, or an opinion, I always love to create dialogue. If you liked what you read, share it with someone. Tag @theshaydatorabi, use #GrowingWithShayda, and let’s together grow what the future of cannabis in Texas is going to look like!

*Image credit, GRAV via Unsplash