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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Medical Cannabis Solutions Increase Quality of Life

Mar 31, 2017 06:50PM ● By Erin Lehn Floresca

Bert Telles

Bert Telles, president and CEO of Allegiance Wellness Center, first saw a commercial for a medical marijuana dispensary in 2011. Soon afterwards, he picked up a magazine and noticed several advertisements for dispensaries. This piqued his interest as he was retiring from his successful 35-year career in the IT industry and wanted a new vocation. With a passion for the healing arts, Telles sought something that not only had good growth potential but also a place where he could make a difference. “I wanted something that made me want to get out of bed in the morning,” he says. 

         Telles dove in and spent a full year researching the medical marijuana industry. “I engaged a lawyer and a CPA to evaluate risk versus return,” shares Telles, who discovered that cannabis was not only a growing industry, but it naturally and safely addressed countless health conditions—including Alzheimer’s. “There’s a history of Alzheimer’s in my family. My father died from the disease after suffering a long, six-year fight. I watched as he lost his integrity and identity along with giving my mother, his caregiver, plenty of stress and anxiety. I was starting to recognize my own symptoms from this hereditary disease. I was slowly losing my memory, couldn’t remember names at times, and I was having problems making change.”

         During his research, Telles learned many inspiring things about cannabis—including that it helps remove the plaque buildup in the brain that can cause Alzheimer’s. This decades-long jogger and yoga practitioner had also developed arthritis in his knees, in addition to some troubling bouts of insomnia, so he began incorporating cannabis into his daily regime. It changed his life so dramatically that he knew it was his next career move.  “My Alzheimer’s symptoms have all but disappeared, my arthritis is no longer painful, and I now sleep like I did when I was a teenager utilizing cannabis to address all these conditions,” he says. “I knew I wanted to end suffering, reduce some of the pain that blankets the earth, and enhance and improve quality of life in others.” 

         To further his research, Telles visited several dispensaries and determined that out of the eight that he had visited, he might only return to one. “They were not ‘medical’ by any means. There was no testing for potency or medical dosage; only products there to get you high,” he recalls.  “Less than 20 percent of cannabis dispensary personnel have any medical/scientific training for the use of medical cannabis. Patients seeking information for specific pathologies rarely find the correct information at traditional dispensaries.”

         Armed with knowledge, Telles began his business by first building a website. “I wanted it to be comparable to a dispensary, without having to visit one. It’s a place to help people get educated on dosing, research for treatment, and to learn more about the products we offer,” he says.

         Tina Kuus, Ph.D.Now the proud owner of a five-year-old company, Telles’ team has grown to include Tina Kuus, Ph.D., a biomedical consultant with 25 years in the biomedical community, and Melaminah Herriman, Associate Scientist, who has a B.S. in chemistry and 12 years of pharmaceutical experience.Melaminah Herriman

         Dr. Kuus came on board a year ago, after spending 35 years in cancer research and diagnostics. Her longtime interest in medical marijuana began in 2005 when a dear friend of hers developed an aggressive form of breast cancer. “Because she was so young and healthy, they treated it aggressively, but the chemotherapy made her very sick. I consulted with my colleagues and whipped up a batch of pot brownies. The brownies worked better than any drug she was taking to control the nausea,” she explains. When Telles offered her the opportunity to join Allegiance Wellness Center, it made perfect sense as it was the ideal blend of her interests and skills. “I knew that being in this field could be so gratifying. We are headed in the right direction. Even in the past year, acceptance of the use of medical marijuana has become so much more widespread. And, I love the opportunity to use my background to help counsel patients.”

         Allegiance Wellness Center’s aim is to provide safe and effective medical cannabis solutions for patients with specific medical conditions through the use of the Center’s personalized products. Their target market, an estimated 758 thousand medical marijuana patients in California in the 30 to 80 age group, are those seeking legitimate, natural medical alternatives in lieu of pharmaceuticals.  “We offer high quality, personalized solutions, including 25 in-house formulations, to medical cannabis patients through one-on-one counseling and follow-up. We also provide up-to-date medical cannabis information to patients with specific diseases,” says Telles. 

         The Center is developing a medical marijuana smartphone App called CannaWorks to monitor and collect data on medical cannabis usage and results. “This will allow patients and practitioners the ability to interact with one another, review dosing and efficacy, and modify treatments if necessary. It’s a great tool,” says Telles.

         “Overall, we just love being able to share products that are changing people’s lives for the better. Seeing the turnaround in people’s lives is the icing on the cake,” adds Telles.

For more information, call 858-414-4271 or visit