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Helmand Valley Growers Co., Battle Brothers Foundation Push for Veteran Cannabis Access

Photo courtesy of Helmand Valley Growers Co.

Bryan Buckley, U.S. Marine veteran and founder of HVGC and Battle Brothers, is partnering with institutions to conduct veteran cannabis research.

My message for Congress members, ‘You sent me to war. Now it's your turn to fix me.’ We just want to partner with people to accomplish this mission and to go help and save some lives of Americans.”
— Bryan Buckley
LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, June 26, 2023/ -- Bryan Buckley is rallying for a call to action across the country to get U.S. veterans access to cannabis through Veterans Affairs channels. Bryan Buckley is a Special Operations Team Commander with the U.S. Marine Raiders who now serves as CEO and co-founder of Oceanside, Calif., service-disabled veteran-owned cannabis processor and manufacturer Helmand Valley Growers Co. (HVGC) and founder of 501(c)3 nonprofit Battle Brothers Foundation, mission-led organizations dedicated to making that dream a reality.

Our country is facing a wide-scale opioid epidemic that has taken countless lives; not excluded from this crisis, the veteran community has been critically impacted. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among veterans include anxiety, pain and sleeplessness, according to the Frontiers in Psychology study “Disturbed Sleep in PTSD: Thinking Beyond Nightmares.” Post-traumatic stress can lead to opioid addiction, often resulting from prescriptions, and suicide, per the National Institutes of Health.

This is why Buckley and the Battle Brothers team are launching an observational study addressing veteran cannabis use with Israeli-American medical data and research company NiaMedic, with study-review support from University of California, Irvine Health. In 2021, the study of how cannabis use can alleviate PTSD symptoms among veterans received approval from the national Independent Review Board, an independent committee that reviews research ethics.

Veterans who participate in the study, according to the Battle Brothers site, will need “Validated and documented diagnosis of chronic PTSD of at least six months duration and of at least moderate severity as measured by a score of > 40 on the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) at the time of baseline assessment.” The roughly 90-day study will start with micro doses of either cannabis tinctures or pills.

In September of 2022, Buckley and a group called the Veterans Action Council, for which he serves as a council member, and the National Cannabis Industry Association lobbied U.S. Congress members in Washington, D.C., on advancing cannabis policy by way of measures such as descheduling cannabis so its use can be more thoroughly researched among veterans and others, and elimination of 280E—an IRS code that forbids state-legal cannabis businesses from deducting otherwise ordinary business expenses from federal gross income.

While visiting nearly 30 U.S. congressional offices in two days, Buckley says many conversations were fruitful. “I would say, overall, what I’m finding interesting is you meet with people who might have been a hard no, and now they're saying things like, ‘I need to look into it more,’” Buckley says. “And it's almost coming to the point—I've heard a couple people say this—that potentially by the year 2024, it could be political suicide if you're against cannabis in terms of how much the United States population is for it.”

Buckley says of being a veteran lobbying to Congress: “We have that voice in Congress, and we can move this thing a little bit better than maybe some other groups. I can look at people in Congress, say, ‘You sent me to war. Now it's your turn to fix me.’ So, we're not looking for help. We just want to partner with people to accomplish this mission and to go help and save some lives of Americans.”

Other nonprofit cannabis organizations are supporting his cause for action to reach Congress. "When I heard of Bryan's mission I felt truly inspired to support Battle Brothers Foundation due to my personal experience with consulting a few local veterans who have reached out to me in confidence after experiencing heartbreaking PTSD and mental health issues. I have educated them on getting familiar with CBD tinctures and pain creams and they call back and tell me they have great results. We have a responsibility of advocating harder for our veterans who put their lives on the line for our country and all of us are proud of Bryan for bringing this topic straight to the attention of Congress members", states Sophia Felix, President of the International Cannabis Consulting Business Women's Association - (ICBWA).

Bryan Buckley is known throughout his community as a respected leader and role model. As a Special Operations Team Commander with Marine Raiders, Bryan led multiple teams in deployments to Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara (Africa), South East Asia, and Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan (Helmand Province). Developed rapport with numerous host nation forces, enhanced capability and capacity within the host nation units, and briefed US Ambassadors. Led a 20 man Marine Raider Team to Afghanistan that mentored, trained, and conducted over 40 combat operations with an Afghan Special Operations Battalion. Bryan also deployed twice to Operation Iraqi Freedom with Marine Infantry and Marine Reconnaissance. He was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with "Combat Distinguishing Device" for Heroic Service and the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received during combat operations.

Furthermore, sharing his commitment to helping U.S. veterans, Buckley says he is not taking a salary and donating 100% of profits from Helmand Valley Growers Co. to fund veteran cannabis research. “This is the most important mission of my life … the only thing I know is mission success,” he says.

Those interested in supporting the Battle Brothers Foundation can donate directly at

Sophie Felix
HBM Talent & Management
+1 619-886-0939
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