CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Specializing in the growth of industrial hemp, Veteran Grow sits along 40 acres in Clarksville.
The company was founded about three years ago by Andrew Fox and his wife to grow low THC cannabis plants to manufacture cannabis oil for patients and online stores.
“We grew 15 million plants last year,” Fox told News 2. “We are state licensed as both growers and processors. We ship to all 50 states. We ship daily to Colorado and California even.”
Veteran Grow is one of about 80 growers for the state of Tennessee.
“Regardless of how you think about it, we’re in the business of selling health,” Fox said.
Both combat veterans, Fox’s wife suffered an injury that required back surgeries and various pain medications. The couple traveled to Colorado where she was able to get medical marijuana, which she said completely alleviated her back pain.
After experiencing the effects firsthand, the couple decided they wanted to bring a form of it to veterans and their families in Middle Tennessee.
“The biggest things that are bothering our veterans are PTSD, anxiety, and chronic pain,” Fox explained. “Medical marijuana, although the DEA and FDA claim there’s no medicinal value, can have a huge benefit, if you look at the research done by third parties.”
While several states in the U.S. have approved marijuana for medical and/or recreational use, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said federal law still classifies marijuana and all derived products as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. That makes it illegal in the eyes of the federal government, and it means V.A. health care providers cannot recommend it or assist veterans in getting it.
Rolled out in December, a new V.A. policy does encourage V.A. doctors to talk about medical marijuana with military veterans as part of comprehensive care planning and to adjust treatment plans.
“For there to just be another option or opportunity to bring up to veterans is definitely going in the right direction,” Fox said.
The department said veteran participation in a state medical marijuana program does not affect eligibility for V.A. care and services but veterans cannot use or possess marijuana on the grounds of V.A. medical centers and the V.A. will not pay for medical marijuana prescriptions.
A full list of the latest things veterans need to know about medical marijuana and the VA can be found at PublicHealth.VA.gov.
“We just ask for citizens in America to have the right to use what they feel benefits them the most. It’s their own choice and own decision,” Fox explained.
As for any drawbacks for veterans using medical marijuana, Fox said no drug, compound, or supplement comes without risk or possible side effects, especially if used incorrectly.