Military veterans have been making waves in Colorado's cannabis industry, with veteran-founded businesses encompassing everything from dispensaries to edibles to industrial hemp. With Veterans Day coming up on Monday, November 11, here are eight Colorado cannabis businesses that were founded by veterans.
The Green Solution
One of Colorado’s largest dispensary chains was founded by brothers Kyle and Eric Speidell; Eric is a former Marine. The company has made headlines recently, as Canadian cannabis corporation Columbia Care agreed to buy The Green Solution. However, the Spiedell family still owns the chain until the deal officially goes through in 2020, and will be staying on as executives for the foreseeable future.
Iron Protection Group
This cannabis security company was founded by Marine combat veteran Hunter Garth, and has employed 350 veterans since 2013, according to him. The company’s security services include cash transport to and from licensed cannabis cultivators, shops and processing facilities, as well as providing security services to non-cannabis businesses such as hotels and apartment buildings. Colorado isn’t the only state the company works in; it also provides services in California.
Simply Pure,a dispensary and new CBD brand, was founded by husband-wife duo Scott Durrah and Wanda James, both of whom are military veterans. James, the first African-American woman to own a marijuana dispensary in Colorado and a former lieutenant in the Navy, has also worked in politics, advising former president Barrack Obama and current Colorado Governor Jared Polis on various matters. Durrah, a Marine veteran, is known for his weed-infused cooking, which garnered him a first-place spot on Viceland's cannabis cooking show, Bong Appétit.
Founder Dan Anglin, a former Marine, is known for his love of pot policy reform — and gummies. Therefore, he decided to establish a cannabis company specializing in that kind of treat. The company started in Colorado, but now distributes THC-laden product throughout other states with legal weed, such as Nevada and Massachusetts.
This CBD company was founded by Army combat veteran Craig Henderson, who wanted to find a natural alternative to prescription medication for fellow veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder or other injuries obtained while serving in the military. Veterans shopping for CBD products such as tinctures or topicals can apply to Extract Lab’s veteran program, where they can get 25 percent off all CBD tinctures, topicals, creams and concentrate products.
This hemp company was founded by Steve Danyluk, a retired Marine lieutenant. The company’s goal is to provide an alternative to prescription painkillers for those diagnosed with PTSD and other injuries sustained during their service. The company's hemp, which is grown in Eaton, eventually becomes capsules and hemp tea.
Former Army ranger Coby Cochran founded this CBD company after experiencing severe side effects from medication he was prescribed. He then decided to create a line of CBD oils, topicals and soft gels to help others find an alternative solution to prescription drugs. Like Extract Labs, UnCanna offers discounts to veterans and first responders, as well.
Mary Jane's House
April Blundell opened Mary Jane's House dispensary near Denver International Airport in late September. After seeing how cannabis helped veterans with PTSD and other combat-related industries, she wanted to join the legal industry. Now the Marine veteran is trying to get her dispensary green-certified with the state Department of Agriculture while making sure most of the cannabis she sells is internally grown.
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