Like many Americans, I have had friends and family serve in the military. Right now my in laws are stationed in Louisiana, and many of my friends are stationed throughout the world. Many more of my friends and family members served anywhere between 4-20 years in the military, and have since moved on to new adventures in their lives. I have always admired their service, and let them know this whenever I get the chance. I always thank them for fighting for the freedoms I enjoy on a daily basis because of their sacrifices.
I have noticed a lot of my friends and family who were once servicemen or servicewomen having a hard time adjusting to entering back into civilian life. Upon return to civilian life, even some basic tasks took a bit more effort than they remembered them being prior enlisting. One of my best friends Matt served in the National Guard for a total of 8 years, with a tour of duty in Iraq. When he got out of the military, I remember it being really hard for him to re-integrate back into society, especially when it came to employment.
We would talk about it for hours, as I would help him with his resume and applications. While I was helping him he would comment about how when he was in the military, he was respected, his skills were useful, and that he was in a position of authority with decision making power. He was taught skills in the military that he was really good at, but my friend Matt had a hard time finding a way to explain how those skills would apply to civil job openings. The military has its own terms, its own certifications, and its own processes. Things that people with no military background don’t always understand.
The marijuana industry is creating jobs every day, many of which require skills that military veterans possess. As a result, a growing number of veterans are finding new careers in the marijuana industry. The most common example that comes to mind is in the private security sector of the marijuana space. Many military veterans, especially those that have experience in combat, have found private security jobs to be similar to what was done during active duty.
Preventing intrusions, securing buildings and perimeters, and transporting sensitive materials are all things that a lot of servicemen and servicewomen are familiar with and have experience doing. There was recently an article in The New York Times which included quotes and examples of military veterans working in Colorado’s booming marijuana industry. One veteran was quoted as saying, ‘this is my therapy’ and ‘this is what we did in the military.
The article went on to state that there are over 200 military veterans working in the private security field in the marijuana industry in Colorado. The marijuana industry is an all cash industry, with banks being basically prevented from working with marijuana companies. Federal banking rules are confusing, and sometimes conflicting, so financial institutions largely take a hands-off approach towards the industry. All that cash requires a lot of armored transportation to get from one location to the next. For the cash, and plants, that remain at the business location, armed security is a necessity to fend off any criminals.
That’s something that opponents don’t like to talk about. By not reforming banking laws in America, elected officials are strong arming the industry into being sitting targets for thieves and criminals. Fortunately there are military veterans to help prevent that from happening. Military veterans possess all types of skill sets, not just those that involve private security. I know a lot of military veterans that are amazing at building computer networks and coding.
I know of military veterans with experience in management, bookkeeping, contracts and procurement, and all types of other skills. It’s my hope that there’s a place for all of them in the marijuana industry sooner than later. It’s also my hope to see more marijuana businesses started by military veterans. That’s the case with a company highlighted in the previously linked to New York Times article. Iron Protection Group was started by veterans and employs veterans.
I know of a concentrates company in Oregon that has a similar story. I encourage Weed News readers to support companies that hire veterans, and companies that are owned and operated by veterans. To all military veterans out there, I thank you for your service, and I hope to see you land a career in the emerging marijuana industry soon if you choose to do so!
image via Huffington Post