SAN DIEGO – A local group of marine veterans “Raiders” advocates for the use of cannabis in the treatment of post traumatic stress.
Seafarers founded “Helmand Valley Growing Company” after experiencing the effects of post-traumatic stress.
Dozens of dispensaries in California sell the veteran-owned brand of cannabis. All profits go toward veterans’ medical cannabis research.
“There are many great men and women who fought for us, and now they have returned and are physically here, but spiritually away. We want to give them the light that helps them live that American dream they fought to defend,” said Bryan Buckley, HVGC President, and CEO.
Buckley founded the company alongside two other seafarers.
The three owners are veterans from Afghanistan who returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder, also called PTSD.
“Going off opioids was a revelation. Stopping the Jack Daniels bottle to sleep at night. Cannabis helped me to take a step forward,” said Andy Meyers, HVGC’s director of cultivation.
HVGC sells cartridges that can be used with vaping devices.
All cannabis sales go to the non-profit organization, “Battle Brothers Foundation.” The goal is to fund research on the effects of cannabis on post-traumatic stress disorder. Due to federal laws prohibiting cannabis, the Veterans Administration has not yet approved its use.
“We had the opportunity to speak with members of Congress, and we told them what we would have to do to introduce medical cannabis into the VA system. They said if you can get data and doctors, you will have a good argument,” Buckley said.
Now, HVGC is working with an Israeli lab, NiaMedic Healthcare, and UC Irvine on a study on veterans.
“It hurts. I have many friends who returned and were not physically harmed but did not return well mentally. They left their soul in the valley,” Meyers said.