Showing Students the Strains: Harvard Business Offers Marijuana Class

Inside the walls of a hallowed Ivy League institution is another kind of leaf, giving budding entrepreneurs a financial high.

Adrian Sedlin is leading a one-time master class at Harvard Business School, teaching students about counting THC levels, and maybe one day, how to count the billions of dollars in profits projected in this fledging recreational marijuana industry.

"Just like there are fine bottles of wine, there's ultra-fine cannabis," said Sedlin.

Sedlin, a Harvard Business grad, now leads Canndescent. He calls the company a luxury weed supplier.

"Keeping up with demand will definitely be a challenge," said Sedlin.

From the packaging to the advertising, Sedlin says the slick and elegant presentation is all about creating a high-end lifestyle brand. The company is based in California, where recreational marijuana will be sold at the start of the new year. Massachusetts plans to open some recreational pot shops by the summer. And other states aren't far behind.

However, some entrepreneurs are concerned about any pot-related business plan going up in smoke.

"It would be very very difficult to have a start-up that's scalable, dealing with marijuana transactions," said Harvard Business student Farhan Javed.

Right now, most traditional banks won't give any cannabis-related start-ups a loan, because the plant is still illegal under federal law. But with public opinion changing and the law likely to follow, Sedlin is doing his best to plant a seed and recruit from his alma mater. For a business that's expected to keep on growing.

"My job is to show them the path," says Sedlin.

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