Many military veterans are barred from accessing medical cannabis due to its illegality at the federal level. While there are some promising studies and many personal anecdotes on the positive effects of weed on PTSD, veterans with no safe or legal access to the plant may never receive the care they need or may even face criminal charges.
To counter the deep-rooted stigma still surrounding the use of cannabis, especially by those who’ve served in the US military, many organizations led by veterans are advocating for reform, supporting open access to cannabis for veterans and for all.
Below, find 12 brands and organizations supporting veterans and advocating for legal cannabis.
Weed for Warriors Project (WFWP) – CA
The Weed for Warriors Project is a social justice organization urging change on the federal level by advocating for the use of compassionate alternative care for veterans. Volunteers with the Weed for Warriors Project are dedicated to educating lawmakers and providing support to veterans seeking legal access to cannabis.
Get involved here and support the WFWP.
Helmand Valley Growers Company (HVGC) – CA
Proceeds from the Helmand Valley Growers Co. (HGVC) go directly to the nonprofit Battle Brothers Foundation, where veterans are placed in individual and community-based mentorship programs to foster personal growth and community bonding. Veteran and Purple Heart recipient Bryan Buckley founded both organizations.
Donate directly to the Battle Brothers Foundation or offer support by purchasing cannabis products from HGVC.
HVGC was the first veteran-owned brand to be on-boarded onto the Weedmaps TEAL program.
Veterans for Holistic Alternatives (VAHA) – LA
Based in Louisiana and founded by veteran Gary Hess, the Veterans Alliance for Holistic Alternatives is an organization advocating for open access to medical cannabis for veterans. Through educational outreach, volunteer support, and policy reform, VAHA aims to empower veterans and provide resources for accessing medical cannabis.
Donate here and support VAHA.
Veterans Cannabis Coalition (VCC) – CA
Through research, reform, and restoration, the Veterans Cannabis Coalition, founded by veteran Eric Goepel, aims to end the negative stigma surrounding cannabis. Advocacy, education, and policy initiatives are all part of the organization’s efforts to get veterans full and legal access to medical cannabis nationwide.
Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance (SCVA) – CA
The Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance is a team of California-based military veterans advocating for access to cannabis. It grows cannabis for its fellow veterans, and through the company’s Veteran Compassion Program, SCVA provides free lab-tested cannabis to more than 100 veterans every month.
Any veteran with proof of veteran status (DD214 or VA Card) and a valid doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis can receive a donation of medical cannabis products at the SCVA dispensary in Soquel, California.
CNA Stores – MA
With dispensaries in Haverhill and Amesbury, Massachusetts, veteran-owned CNA Stores support East Coast veterans through donations to the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (VNEOC). The organization provides continuous care for veterans and their families by addressing housing needs, community support services, and mental health support.
Donate here and support the VNEOC.
Brothers Mark Cannabis – CA
Founded and operated by US military veterans, Brother’s Mark Cannabis advocates for access to medical cannabis as a means to quell symptoms of combat-related PTSD and other service-connected disabilities.
The brand offers flower, concentrates, and vape cartridges, and proceeds from sales go to the non-profit Veterans Cannabis Group, which provides support and resources related to veteran care, job placement and networking opportunities, and education about all things cannabis.
Veterans Walk and Talk (VWAT) – CA
Fierce advocates for social justice, veterans rights, and cannabis and psychedelic research, the Veterans Walk and Talk was founded in 2016 with a mission to connect veterans with nature and community, giving space for healing and reflection.
Every month, the VWAT holds community outreach events, veteran one-on-one psychedelic and cannabis walk and talk therapy, and group hikes around Southern California, with additional chapters in Sacramento, CA and Oklahoma.
Show your support by becoming a member.
Trulieve – AZ, FL, WV, and GA
Trulieve recently partnered with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a non-profit that provides a range of personal, employment, and medical services to veterans and their families.
Through this partnership, Trulieve will be supporting DAV in multiple states:
- Florida: The brand will contribute $1 to a DAV donation fund for every TruSalute pre-roll produced in November, with expanded discounts for veterans. Select stores will also host patient certification events on Veterans Day with doctors on site.
- Arizona: Customers in Arizona will be able to support DAV by rounding up their purchase total as a donation, with expanded discounts for veterans.
- West Virginia: Expanded discounts for veterans.
- Georgia: Select stores will host patient certification events on Veterans Day with doctors on site.
Donate directly to DAV — this year, friends of DAV are matching all Veterans Day donations up to $75,000.
Charlie’s – AZ
Named after founder Quinn’s sweet dog, Charlie’s flower cones are not only loaded with award-winning flower, but sales of them help benefit the non-profit Soldier’s Best Friend — also founded by Quinn — which pairs veterans with either their own dog or a dog adopted by the non-profit from a local shelter. They then provide training that includes basic obedience, public outings, and tasks specific to each veteran’s PTSD or TBI symptoms.
The website states, “Once the dog is fully trained in all of these skills, it will be qualified as a Service Dog or classified as a Therapeutic Companion Dog.”
Donate directly to Soldier’s Best Friend or show your support by purchasing from Charlie’s.
SBF is a beneficiary of the MITA’s 3rd Annual Winter Charity Golf Tournament sponsored by Weedmaps.
Veteran Access Program (VAP) – MI
Based in Michigan, the Veteran Access Program helps bridge the gap between veterans and medical cannabis by providing access to the plant and pairing patients with dispensaries. The program received permission from the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) to provide eligible products to veterans by “pennying out” cannabis products through METRC, a cannabis compliance tracking system.
From their website, the program also accommodates veterans who are unable to leave their homes, “alternate accommodations such as licensed delivery will be used to ensure access to for veterans unable to visit a provisioning center. Each veteran will receive an allotment of licensed, tested cannabis products that have made their way through the proper regulatory channels.”
If you’re a veteran, you can apply here.
Xtreme Couture GI Foundation (XCGIF) – NV
Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and created by six-time UFC Champion and army veteran Randy “the Natural Couture,” the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation was formed to raise money and awareness to assist combat veterans and their families struggling with financial burdens as they return to civilian life.
XCGIF runs four programs that support Veterans:
- Support and Assistance: XCGIF provides financial assistance to veterans in need via grants funded by donations — 100% of donations go to veterans.
- Transitional Mental Health: XCGIF provides mental health support to veterans and their families by funding therapy sessions and plant medicine retreats. It also facilitates opportunities for veterans to gather in community.
- Physical Wellness: With Merging Vets and Players (MVP), XCGIF provides weekly workout sessions and “huddles” where veterans can work on their physical and mental fitness and spend time in the community with their brothers and sisters.
- Troop Morale Visits: Randy travels the globe, spending time with troops at home and abroad. He also makes an annual visit to the USO Warrior and Family Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Donate here to support XCGIF.
If you’re a veteran needing support, reach out to XCGIF here.
This article was reviewed by Jason Moore-Brown, Vice President of Veterans Advocacy and Engagement and Weedmaps’ first Veteran hire at its inception in 2008. Jason was a Captain in the US Army and GWOT Veteran prior to joining Weedmaps.
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