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How this former NFL linebacker became a leading cannabis physician for athletes

This story first appeared in Weekend Dispensary, a weekly newsletter from The GrowthOp. Signup now to get a story delivered to your inbox every Saturday. 

Hervé Damas’ National Football League career ended in his rookie season.

A 6-foot, 235-pound linebacker, Damas signed a free-agent deal with the Buffalo Bills in 1995 out of Hofstra University, where he had been the team captain and an All-American.

In his first year in professional football, however, he tore three ligaments in his right knee, including his anterior cruciate ligament.

“You don’t really recover from those things, especially not back in 1995,” Damas tells The GrowthOp. 

The injury ended his football ambitions but it also gave him insight into how the league handled pain management at that time, including everything from mandatory drug testing to ensure players were avoiding cannabis, to doling out painkillers with little

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