One of the leading cannabis vaporizer brands has released a limited-edition series of cannabis products to raise money for war vets.
PAX Labs is joining forces with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) as well as the veteran owned and operated LEVEL Blends and Gold Seal SF to produce 'Pay It Forward' pods, a limited-edition series of vape concentrate pods, with all proceeds benefiting IAVA. PAX has pledged $100,000 to IAVA between sales of the pods and further donations from the company and Cannabition Museum.
IAVA is the leading advocacy and support group for what founder Paul Rieckhoff calls "the next generation of veterans," helping them with "everything from homelessness to mental health crisis." Of course, IAVA advocates for veteran access to medical marijuana saying it's time for Veterans Affairs to catch up to what vets have long been asking for.
"They're behind the times," Rieckhoff said of the VA's reluctance to introduce a medical marijuana program. "This is, we think, a political policy no-brainer. We think the VA will come around sooner or later, but the longer they wait they more it hurts veterans."
Beyond their health service initiative, IAVA also helps vets transition into private sector job where he says they often take leadership roles.
"Veterans aren't a charity, they're an investment," he said.
PAX CEO Bharat Vasan says he relates to veterans who often struggle with adapting to new careers. Vasan's father, who was a longtime naval officer, faced similar problems. And he believes the burgeoning cannabis industry offers a lot of opportunities for these highly skilled individuals.
"I think one of the underappreciated pieces is how hard it is for veterans to leave public service after many, many years and go to the private sector," Vasan told Civilized.
"Other than the good cannabis does for vets dealing with PTSD, all of these issues, there's also job opportunities," said Vasan. "There's a huge opportunity here for veterans to start their own business, be entrepreneurs and contribute."