Veterans Priority in the Cannabis Industry: A Call to Action (Guest Column)

Justin Battles is an 8-year Army veteran, co-chairman of the New York Cannabis Association Veterans Committee, and student of horticulture and cannabis business. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of NY Cannabis Insider or CANY.

The cannabis industry is booming and can generate billions of dollars in revenue each year. However, for veteran-owned businesses, entering this sector can be a challenge. These brave men and women come from all walks of life and are made up of members of any gender, race, ethnicity, creed or religion.

They have unique perspectives and have acquired valuable leadership and organizational skills during their service that can greatly benefit the cannabis industry. Unfortunately, they often face barriers to capital and business networks that prevent them from flourishing.

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Disabled veterans face even greater challenges due to their disabilities and injuries, as well as the impact of the War on Drugs on their military careers. It is a heartbreaking reality that those who have sacrificed so much for our country are struggling to make it in the cannabis industry. But we can change that. By prioritizing the licensing of businesses owned by disabled veterans, we are not only doing the right thing, but also implementing a sound economic strategy.

Enabling veterans to become successful entrepreneurs creates more job opportunities for both veterans and community members. This can lead to a more dynamic and competitive business environment, attracting more investment and creating even more jobs. This is a win-win for all involved. It is important to note that this is a chance for us to express gratitude to those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Critics may say it’s unfair to focus on veteran-owned businesses, but they miss the point. Veterans face unique challenges, including those associated with the war on drugs, and it is our responsibility to help them overcome these obstacles. By creating a more inclusive and supportive business environment that benefits everyone, we can celebrate their service and contribution to our country.

The recent change to New York cannabis law, which prioritizes individuals charged with criminal offenses related to cannabis, is a step forward in advancing fairness and fairness in the cannabis industry. However, it is important to ensure that this priority also includes businesses owned by disabled veterans. Veterans may have faced legal repercussions or other barriers to entering the cannabis industry and it is imperative that we provide equal opportunity to all veterans, regardless of where cannabis-related charges are filed.

To support these efforts, we encourage readers to contact their state representatives and urge them to prioritize licensing of disabled veteran-owned businesses in the cannabis industry. Let’s work together to create a better business community that recognizes and supports the contributions of our veterans.

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