Three veterans in California are so determined to promote the benefits of medical cannabis among service-members, they went out and launched a company to accomplish the mission.
It’s called the Helmand Valley Growers Company, and it was founded last year by Andy Miears, Bryan Buckley and Matt Curran—all of whom are so-called “Marine Raiders,” veterans of the United States Special Operations. Their mission is straight-forward: provide medical cannabis to fellow veterans of the U.S. Military. To do that, they have launched a recreational cannabis brand to ultimately serve as a profit center for the company and subsidize their altruistic goals.
The country’s opioid epidemic has particularly rocked the veterans community, a group comprised of individuals who often return to civilian life nursing both physical and emotional wounds. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie has said that veterans are twice as likely as civilians to die from an opioid overdose. The VA spearheaded the Opioid Safety Initiative in 2012 to reduce the dependency on opioids among veterans, a program that Wilkie says “managed a 45 percent reduction in veteran patients receiving opioids from July 2012 to June 2018.”
As advocates like Miears, Buckley and Curran see it, cannabis could also represent a solution to the opioid crisis.
“[Helmand Valley Growers Company] began its outreach into the veteran community by observing first-hand and listening to the suffering of our veterans. We knew right then that our cause was worthy; and that our mission was defined,” the company says on its website. “Our next step moved us into researching medical cannabis and speaking with the top experts in the field. As our research progressed, the answer to this crisis became clear: develop alternate medical solutions for those suffering with pain, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, sleep disorders, and most critically, are at significant risk of suicide. We care about those who suffer and believe that medical cannabis is the way of the future to help those in need. The recreational cannabis and branding will be used to assist in accomplishing these goals and ultimately serve as a profit center for HVGC.”
Over the course of presentations and seminars, the company says it became clear that “a recreational brand will be a monetary success and will help fund the ultimate mission of HVGC, providing medical cannabis to the veterans of our United States Military.”
To that end, Helmand Valley is now launching a line of vape cartridges that are being sold throughout southern California. According to the company, all profits “go to the Battle Brothers Foundation to fund Veteran Medical Cannabis research.”