A US Army veteran and engineer has left the military to join the cannabis industry to develop medications for people suffering from PTSD and other conditions.
Craig Henderson - who saw combat in Iraq in 2004 and 2005 - started Extract Labs at the end of 2016 after spending 4 years creating marijuana extracts for Apeks Supercritical. The career change, he said, came from the realization that there were a growing number of hemp farms around with few options for having their products processed into concentrates, oils and other medicinal products.
"After about four years of teaching people how to process marijuana with CO2, I started seeing hemp farms popping up and no one was processing the material for them," Henderson told Military Times. "So I decided to leave my job and start up my own processing company."
Henderson - a Kentucky native - said he started building an interest in CBD products while he was finishing his graduate degree in engineering at the University of Louisville. Cannabis had recently been legalized in Colorado and he was eager to get out a become a part of this new industry. But getting in took a little more work than he had hoped.
"I kept watching a bunch of marijuana documentaries and was following the laws changing in Colorado and California," he said. "I was really interested in getting out [to Colorado]. I was emailing people my resume and calling different companies, but no one called me back."
He eventually landed a position with the Ohio-based marijuana extraction company Apeks Supercritical, who brought him on to open a new location in Colorado. Now the company he started 2 years ago out of his garage hosts a staff of 25 and is preparing to open a second lab back in Louisville to help more patients gain access to cannabis extracts that can change their lives.
"[CBD] helps with homeostasis," Henderson said. "So when things are sort of out of whack within the body, it helps to bring it all together. It's also anti-inflammatory and has more antioxidants than green tea has in it."
With all the focus on medical marijuana treatments from veterans, we're hopeful that sooner or later VA catches on and and helps bring products like Henderson's to vets who need it.