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As the American cannabis job count goes up, military veterans are finding jobs in marijuana security companies. Military infantrymen coming back from conflict areas overseas have shown a unique kinship with the nascent industry, even though the federal government still makes it difficult for veterans to gain medical marijuana access.
Military Veterans Support Cannabis Use
Military veterans often suffer from disabilities such as hearing loss, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), brain injuries, depression, and a range of musculoskeletal disorders after coming back from deployment. Medical cannabis has provided great relief for a number of symptoms associated with these veteran-related medical conditions.
Military veterans have largely been sympathetic to the marijuana cause and continue to do so. A 2017 survey by American Legion found that a vast majority of military veterans want to have cannabis as a federally legal treatment, support legalization of medical cannabis, and want more research into medical cannabis.
Veterans have had a close relationship with smoking weed, especially during the Vietnam War in the 1970s. To battle the boredom and monotony of military life, many soldiers would light up. The long history of veterans and cannabis use has provided these former military members with an interest in joining the cannabis industry an the skills needed to succeed.
Despite the enormous contribution military veterans have had in the pot industry, many veterans live in fear when it comes to cannabis use. Veterans worry about losing employment, loan benefits, and disability payments if they disclosed their marijuana use. Veterans health services are unable to provide medical cannabis or advice about it.
Military Veterans Protect Shops, Grows, and Processing Facilities
Military veterans have a firm grasp of soft skills such as problem-solving, communication, teamwork, adaptability, and the ability to perform under high pressure. Military veterans have a strong work ethic, leadership skills, and an undying conviction to protect and serve cannabis retailers, cannabis growers, and processing facilities.
While military veterans can be found in many cannabis industry positions, a considerable number of former infantrymen are finding a satisfying profession in cannabis security. Whether it’s a position as an armed guard for a retailer or an experienced courier carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, veterans have propelled the industry to greater heights.
Omni Security Transportation (OST) is one of many security and transportation services catering exclusively to the marijuana industry. Cannabis’s federal status as a controlled substance prevents banks and large security companies from dealing with cannabis-related businesses or risk criminal consequences.
In markets deprived of banking and security services, most cannabis businesses are stuck operating in a cash-only business model. Smaller security firms, many of which hire veterans and former law enforcement personnel, are filling the void in the market.
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OST employs dozens of former soldiers in Southern California and Humboldt County for the cannabis industry and business has been good. By Oct. 2019, Chris Cronin, owner of OST, told Los Angeles Magazine they were on track to transport more than $100 million of cannabis products and cash during 2019.
Cronin told LA Mag, “We don’t hire guys that worked on jet planes or computers. We hire guys that have actually been shot at and shot back in anger. Those are the guys that know pressure and can handle it.”
While the stress levels aren’t as high compared to military reconnaissance, securing marijuana products and transporting hundreds of thousands of dollars gives veterans a sense of duty, much-needed employment opportunity, and the ability to work with like-minded individuals who support cannabis use.
According to California Highway Patrol spokesperson Jaime Coffee, transporting cash is “generally at the discretion of the business owner.” Despite the fears of an increase in crime after cannabis legalization, CHP claims there hasn’t been a significant increase in marijuana-related crimes on the road.
Beyond Cannabis Security Jobs
Veterans aren’t just finding jobs as heavily-armed security detail for cannabis businesses. They’re also becoming more involved in the cultivation sector as well. Denver-based OrganaBrands president Chris Driessen told We Are The Mighty that about 10 percent of his workforce are veterans.
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Colorado alone has a host of veteran-owned cannabis businesses. Eric Speidell is the co-founder and former Marine of one of the largest dispensary chains in Colorado, The Green Solution. Former Marine combat veteran Hunter Garth and owner of Iron Protection Group has employed 350 veterans to provide security services for cannabis businesses.
Cannabis Training At CTU
Military servicemen are uniquely positioned to work in the cannabis industry. If you’re a veteran or know one interested in learning more about the cannabis industry to gain employment, signing up for Cannabis Training University’s online marijuana college gives job seekers a leg up against the competition.
CTU’s comprehensive marijuana training courses teaches students everything they need to know about cannabis cultivation, cannabis medicine, cannabis cooking, cannabis extraction, and other skills to help them find a job in the industry.