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Burbank class teaches legal pot growing

September 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
It's a fast-growing market in California: medical marijuana. Wednesday career-minded people got together to learn everything about pot dispensaries, from legal issues to making brownies.Welcome to the Cannabis Career Institute. Wednesday night's class: the Medical Marijuana Business 101. Forty eager students learn from a top advocate the ins and outs of starting up in this "budding" industry.

"Most people go into it for compassion and assist people in getting medicine than for profit," said Marc Kent, Medical Marijuana Advocate. "I know very few store owners who go into business for profit."

CCI's president says compassionate people from across the nation are showing interest in opening their own medical marijuana dispensaries.

"Florida, New York, Vermont for our new gold rush," said George Boyadjian, president, Cannabis Career Institute.

A new gold rush that's primarily a cash business, and in a time of recession -- a guaranteed income never sounded so good.

"We tell folks that you don't have to get rich and you probably won't, but you can definitely have a well living and help people along the way," said Boyadjian.

Helping people and giving back to his community is why David Herrera says he wants to open a dispensary. The high school football coach from Valencia became an advocate for prescription pot after losing two sisters to pharmaceutical addictions.

"Two sisters passed away in two years," said Herrera. "One was 30. one was 28, so I know what pharmaceuticals can do, and it destroyed my family."

Herrera acknowledges the stigma attached with medical marijuana, but says the public and lawmakers need to understand it's an important alternative.

"That's why if we can do good by donating money to charities, women abuse shelters, boys and girls clubs, then people will see there are people doing this for the right reasons," said Herrera.

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