Medical marijuana and veterans: get your license to grow cannabis NOW.

Licence To Grow Cannabis
Author avatar By Kyle Kushman & Homegrown
May 20, 2021

Your license to grow cannabis is a gift. Don’t waste it.

There are well-documented reasons why marijuana is so popular with veterans. As an alternative to opioids and alcohol, it’s helping to reverse unspeakable levels of harm, dependency and suffering. 

This article explores how medical marijuana can change the lives of our servicemen and women. It will look at the best way to get your license to grow cannabis (to consume and grow medical marijuana), and will show how growing your own can save money, deliver a better product and be therapeutic in itself.

We’ll talk to doctors, medical professionals and veterans, and we’ll show that you don’t have to be a veteran to improve your life with medical marijuana.

Cannabis is inclusive. Cannabis is community. Cannabis can help.

How can veterans benefit from switching to cannabis?

trimmed cannabis buds in hands

Today’s veterans are as diverse in their backgrounds as they are in their military experience. Some have served terms in the humid jungles of Vietnam, others – the dry heat of the Middle East.

As a soldier, you need to be ready for anything.

“I did one tour of Afghanistan with my battalion… it left me a lot of grief, a lot of survivor’s guilt, a lot of issues, a lot of anger issues, I was drinking a lot at the time… six months after I got out I started using medical cannabis, I got my card probably a month after I had gotten out and it was just kinda night and day…all my trouble sleeping went away…I was able to use tinctures and smoke and get a full night’s sleep, be more social, talk to my friends, be around them… it made a lot of things more possible.”

Justin, US Marine

When you talk to these men and women, strong people who’ve served this country with great pride, you get a sense of what unites them. Honor, dignity and determination, definitely, but also suffering, trauma, and anguish. 

Too often a feeling of abandonment, of being used.

This has much more to do with how they’re treated AFTER their service, not during.

While suffering with health issues like PTSD, physical disability, chronic pain and mental anguish, veterans are often dismissed with prescription opioids, alternatives to which can ONLY be found on the street. This policy has left America in the grip of an opioid crisis. 

More people in the United States died from overdoses involving opioids in 2017 than from HIV- or AIDS-related illnesses at the peak of the AIDS epidemic.” 


While the crisis isn’t confined wholly to the US, the vast numbers of veterans given drugs like Oxycontin has contributed massively, as has the willful participation and dismissiveness of big pharma.

In the United States, the country most severely affected, it [the crisis] arose through a confluence of well-intentioned efforts to improve pain management by doctors and aggressive — even fraudulent — marketing by pharmaceutical manufacturers.


These veterans, these victims (it’s difficult to label them otherwise, though most vets baulk at the idea of being categorized as such), desperate for an alternative, have been turning in huge numbers to marijuana, whether they live in legal states or not.

“Being a combat vet and dealing with PTSD and various other things… Agent Orange, you know, the whole gamut…the VA will give you a pill for every ailment that you have, it doesn’t matter, you can hurt your thumb, they’ll give you a pill. You have toothache, they’ll give you a pill, and 90% of the time it’s an opioid. And you know after five days, you’re hooked. Some of us got smart and realized there had to be a better way.”

John, US Marine

For those who don’t live in legal states, you can add criminal prosecution to their long list of justifiable grievances. 

Why get a license to grow cannabis? Should veterans stop listening to their doctors? Where, ultimately, should veterans place their trust?

The potential benefits of medical marijuana.

cannabis leaf and medical cannabis oil tincture

Before we discuss how beneficial marijuana can be, we need to issue a few disclaimers.

  • Medical marijuana doesn’t boast the same levels of research and development as standard pharmaceutical medicine.
  • Marijuana is still prohibited in many US states.
  • Cannabis has been linked to increased levels of anxiety and paranoia.
  • You should always talk to your doctor before consuming medical marijuana.

Despite these caveats, there’s mounting evidence that taking medical marijuana can be of enormous benefit, especially to veterans. We asked Dipak Hemraj, at Leafwell to qualify the claims made in support of obtaining a license to grow cannabis…

PTSD: cannabis is said to help manage an individual’s fight or flight response, a key element of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Those suffering from PTSD have abnormal levels of stress hormones (norepinephrine and adrenaline) and chronically low levels of serotonin (happy hormones) available in their bodies. The levels of these hormones can be returned to normal by careful use of cannabinoids like THC and CBD.”

Depression: the mood-stabilizing properties of cannabinoids have long been touted as a great way to combat depression.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main compound in cannabis with mood-stabilizing properties. As CBD affects serotonin receptors, it can prove to be an excellent way to reduce or replace antidepressant use. CBD also has antipsychotic properties, making it useful for mental health conditions where psychosis could be an issue.” 

Insomnia: cannabis is a natural, calming sedative – especially when consuming a strong, indica-dominant cultivar.

“Cannabis contains a number of terpenes that can aid sleep and relaxation, including myrcene, humulene and linalool. When combined with even low doses of THC, the sleepy effects of cannabis take hold. Cannabinol (CBN) also has sedative effects comparable to low to medium doses of benzodiazepines, but is far less addictive.”

Chronic pain: clinical trials have shown that THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) can reduce neuropathic pain intensity across a broad range of conditions.

man treating pain with pills

“The cannabis plant is packed full of anti-inflammatory compounds that can help treat pain. THC has analgesic (painkilling) effects; CBD can help “turn down pain’s volume”; the peppery cannabinoid-terpene beta-caryophyllene is great at treating inflammation; and pretty much every cannabinoid has an anti-inflammatory effect. Cannabis is a pharmacy in a plant, and is one of the few medications available that can treat physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual pain.”

Alcoholism: many veterans, even those without chronic conditions, use cannabis to help them relax, unwind and de-stress. It is far safer and healthier than depending on alcohol.

“Alcohol is a legal, easily accessible drug. Although many people use it in moderation quite successfully, for a not-insignificant number of others, alcohol can be highly addictive and/or destructive. Cannabis allows people to get what they’re seeking from alcohol – a way to relax, de-stress and enjoy themselves – but with far fewer of the negative side-effects. (And hangovers!)

For veterans living in legal states, being able to at least try cannabis as an alternative treatment has been hugely positive. Many dispensaries offer a wide variety of cultivars, ranging from high THC to high CBD to well-balanced hybrids with equal amounts of both.

Dispensaries like Kannabis Works in Santa Ana and Harbourside in Oakland train their staff to listen to their customers, to help guide them towards correct buying decisions.

fresh cannabis flower in jars

“While Kannabis Works believes that training your staff to understand how to tailor what cannabinoids can be helpful for the many reasons veterans are seeking cannabis, the state of California does not require education about the plant and its compounds.  If there is a veteran who has high-anxiety due to PTSD, you wouldn’t want to just suggest THC. THC in large doses can cause anxiety.

With proper education, you could steer the patient to a chemovar that’s more balanced with CBD:THC and terpenes like linalool. If they are looking to help daytime pain, then perhaps CBDA:CBD would be the go-to because it wouldn’t be intoxicating.  We support over 100 veterans a month with compassionate donations and also consultations to help curate the products that would best help them. But this experience is not the norm. You will not find this across the State of California and that needs to change.”

Shelly McKay, Kannabis Works.

Why should veterans get their license to grow cannabis as soon as possible?

There’s an argument that relying on dispensaries is a short-term sticking plaster solution to a long-term problem.

  • Many dispensaries chop and change their product regularly, which can be extremely frustrating for those who know exactly which cultivar works best for them.
  • Most dispensaries never make it past the first few months (or weeks!!!) of being open. It’s a tough market, with A LOT of expensive rules and regulations to follow.
  • Also, while there’s been a lot of improvement (one of the few good things to come out of COVID) in their delivery services, not all vets are lucky enough to live within dispatch range of their dispensary, and not all dispensaries offer delivery.

We are not knocking dispensaries here, they’re absolutely vital to many, many patients – especially when it comes to tinctures, salves, and e-liquid. 

People with chronic conditions need a steady, reliable source of treatment, a year-round supply. They NEED to know where their medicine is, how much they have, and how to get more. They NEED a license to grow cannabis!

While consuming medical marijuana is clearly beneficial, there are plenty of reasons our vets should be growing their own, rather than relying on dispensaries.

Kyle Kushman.

A veteran with an established home-grow can produce more flower than they’ll ever need. They can build a nicely-curing surplus. They can share it with their friends or other vets.

Even those with limited set-ups will be able to produce a decent amount… enough so the dispensary can be used for emergencies only.

With a license to grow cannabis, you can guarantee the purity of the product. You can decide to grow organically or veganically.

You can choose from hundreds of different hybrids (when you grow from seed) and you can choose to grow indoors or in your garden – you can even grow weed on a small terrace or balcony!

If these aren’t compelling enough reasons, vets only need consider the cost. It’s far, far cheaper to grow your cannabis at home.

You’ll notice your utility bills go up, of course, but initial investments are quickly recovered and your hand-grown cannabis will soon set you back a mere $70 per ounce or less. You’re looking at savings of $300+ for every ounce of weed you consume.

Kyle Kushman.
Kyle Kushman with cannabis plants ready to harvest
Kyle Kushman ready to harvest his cannabis plants.

Growing cannabis from seed is in itself therapeutic and rewarding. It delivers substantial, measurable gains along with a deep sense of pride and achievement.

How to get your medical marijuana card.

It’s never been easier to get a license to grow cannabis. Leafwell can connect you to a licensed medical professional in your state, get you approved and have you growing your own medical cannabis in no time.

Depending on where you live, your card will allow you to grow up to an incredible 99 cannabis plants at a time. That’s about 400 pounds of weed every year!

Canopy of cannabis plants

Okay, back down to Earth – not many beginners will have the room for 99 plants!

Most novice growers, on their first grow, will be looking at six plants, delivering up to a pound each. Less if you go into it blind, more if you get a good cannabis education and have a little luck on your side.

Like with everything worthwhile, practice makes perfect, but it always helps to get the best information possible.

We deliver cannabis seeds from within the USA, we give guarantees on germination AND delivery and you won’t find a better source of growing guides, articles, hints, tips and information – all for free.

Grow for it. Get your license to grow cannabis NOW!

There are few things in life as satisfying as growing your own cannabis plant from start to (well-cured) finish. Homegrown has a 200,000 plus family of growers who share their stories and growing adventures, both on the community page and through the free-to-use Homegrown Diaries platform.

If you need support, this is the place to go. A place you can buy your seeds, learn to grow and share your experiences with new friends.

If you think cannabis can help, maybe it’s time to get your license to grow cannabis, buy some seeds and start growing. 

What have you got to lose?

“CBD has helped with the PTSD, right now I’m a 90% disability compensated veteran. Prior to the CBD I drank a lot, which didn’t help…when it [cannabis] became legal, I went back on it at the behest of my youngest son…I got to sleep better… I’d had nightmares, and my wife, I don’t know why she stuck with me…42 years she’s been there, witnessing… but, thank God, we made it this far, I’m thankful for the CBD…it really does help and to any doctor or anyone who doubts it, come talk to me.

Ernie, Infantry