The Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo is in downtown Phoenix this weekend, bringing marijuana businesspeople from all over the country together to network.
One of the biggest names in the industry is Michael Brubeck, the president of Centuria Natural Foods, the largest raw cannabis importer and producer in the United States.
Brubeck lives in Scottsdale part-time.
He said that in 2005 he stepped into his first medical pot dispensary in California. After asking the owners a lot of questions, he decided he'd join the industry.
At the time, there were hundreds of cultivators, so he thought, "Why not just create one giant site?"
Because of laws in the U.S., he grew his nearly 14,000-acre nursery in Europe.
"We produced 262 tons last year. When you look at the entire state of Colorado, they only produced 143 tons between 2,600 companies," Brubeck said. "Based on the data we have, we are definitely one of the largest inside that data set."
Brubeck said he employs about 100 people between Europe and the U.S.
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