In a busy week with countless events and so many esteemed guest speakers, it's nearly impossible to pick a favorite moment from MJBizCon 2021, but on this Veterans Day, there is one story that stands out.
At the Hawthorne House during the Vegas show, Bryan Buckley, CEO of Helmand Valley Growers Company (HVGC), was the featured speaker at a veterans mixer sponsored by Hawthorne Gardening Company.
HVGC - founded by Bryan and fellow veteran Marine Raiders Andy Miears and Matt Curran - are doing their best to help veterans deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), physical injuries and sleep disorders that many face upon returning home from war.
HVGC provides cannabis as a treatment alternative for PTSD and other disorders. In fact, it has secured approval for a study - to be overseen by doctors - documenting cannabis' effects on PTSD treatment in veterans.
Joining them on their mission is Hawthorne, which donated indoor growing products - from grow lights to nutrients - that the veterans use in their R&D in accordance with their California license. HVGC, based in California, is in the midst of expanding its growing operations and will be outfitting them with Hawthorne products as well.
"We literally would not be able to be doing what we are today if it were not for the great work of Hawthorne," Bryan said during the event.
Andy, chief cultivator for HVGC, said, "We have some of the best people in the industry working together to give veterans another tool in their toolbox that is not a synthetic pharmaceutical but instead is plant based."
Andy credits cannabis with changing his life. In 2015, he left Afghanistan with a war injury that had him on opioids for years. Then he discovered cannabis.
"A lot of my friends came back missing parts of their bodies and pieces of their minds," he said. "A lot committed suicide. I started growing cannabis on my own as an alternative to opioids and realized there is something special about the plant. There is a safe way to use cannabis."
It was an honor to have Helmand Valley Growers Company share its story. Hawthorne is equally honored to work with HVGC as the veterans help our nation's heroes.