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UCLA’s paranoid stance on cannabis leaves students on edge

In 2015, Brent Gerson was an unhappy thirtysomething guy — living in Chicago, hating the weather, plagued by obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression. Traditional medicine had not helped him, so he began looking for alternatives.

His research led him, almost inevitably, to cannabis. Colorado had just legalized recreational cannabis, so he took himself to Denver and spent two weeks learning about THC and CBD, the therapeutic components of cannabis. He experimented with ratios, doses and blends.

“Without question,” he told me, “cannabis changed my life.”

Not only did pot relieve his symptoms, it inspired a new life path.

He left Chicago and returned to his undergraduate alma mater, UCLA, where he enrolled in the Anderson School of Management. His intention, he said, was “to be able to hack cannabis from the inside.”

He believes he has. Two months ago, Gerson, 37, left his job as an executive at City National Bank to launch a cannabis business that grew out of his master’s thesis. The company, started with two fellow students, is aimed at helping people plagued by sleeplessness figure out what kind of marijuana can help.

The company will procure vape pens and joints from three cannabis companies, and offer customers a box with a variety of strengths and strains to see what may work, since everyone responds differently. The object is to help people sleep without pharmaceuticals, not to get high. Dr. Alon Avidan, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center, is an advisor.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Robin Abcarian on Los Angeles Times
Published: May 31, 2019
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