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Veterans and Cannabis

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A New Chapter for Stash Club

It’s safe to say that the vast majority of Canadians respect, admire, and applaud our veterans. As a country, we’ve come a long way in how we welcome and integrate these veterans back into society upon their return from active duty. Thankfully, the days of drinking our sorrows away and ignoring trauma are almost behind us. Nothing highlights this point like the Veterans Affairs reimbursement policy for cannabis for medical purposes which was announced in November 2016. The numbers support that the program has been a huge success. Since 2012, when trials began, the program has grown from 37 participants to 17,495 in 2022. For the curious, that amounted to 14.5 million grams of cannabis.

If you are unfamiliar with the program, the gist is this; Veterans who have qualified are entitled to a maximum three-gram per day limit, at no cost. For instance, if you were a veteran using Stash Club, you would supply us with your credentials when you sign up. Once approved, you’d simply place your order using our Veterans Affairs payment option and the insurance company (Blue Cross in this instance) would be directly billed. No hassle, no reimbursement. Just quality cannabis for those who need it most. As of July, one of the biggest suppliers of cannabis for veterans, Shoppers Drug Mart, shut down its cannabis operations, leaving hundreds (if not thousands) high and dry. As a company that prides itself on helping Canadians access plant-based alternatives, Stash Club has been busy signing up the vets that have been left hanging. 

41% of veterans classified their cannabis use as medicinal, more than twice the amount of the civilian population.

Getting to Know Our Veterans

In speaking with these members, our knowledge and understanding have grown in such a short period with regards to cannabis’ medicinal applications towards trauma, PTSD, depression, chronic pain, and reduction of nightmares; just to name a few. One such Veteran, Ken Proude, has been a huge asset to Stash Club, and the cannabis community as a whole. Ken started his medical cannabis journey in 2016, with 0.5 grams per day. Currently, he is using 10 grams per day. Ken has been through several LPs (including Shoppers Drug Mart before Stash Club) and several different clinics. Ken was also the host of a docuseries in 2018 on the veterans channel - the show is called 16h20 (4:20 on the 24 hour clock... niiice).



Ken Proude, Stash Club member and cannabis activist. Ken is also an ambassador for a veteran owned Beard oil company, Educated Beards.



We asked Ken if he had any advice for fellow vets who are navigating the cannabis world. Ken, being the true ambassador that he is, delivered the following wealth of information:

Tips For Navigating VAC (Veteran Affairs Canada):

1. Be patient, it will take some time to have it all gone through by them. If you can handle speaking (on the phone) to them, you will get faster results if you contact them weekly. Remember that you'll have access to 3 grams per day from the start.
2. Find a good clinic that has medical staff on board with experience navigating the VAC system, such as Spartan Wellness or Cannaconnect. These are both great options with plenty of experience in VAC navigation.
3. Do your research on CBD, CBG, CBN and all other cannabinoids. VAC/Clinics will ask about your use of these compounds and knowing them will help you answer their questions.

      General Cannabis Tips:

      1. For pain, stick to the Indica side of the equation. I find most Sativa’s are too strong on the uplifting effects. This can cause you to do too much than what you are used to, which can be detrimental in the long run.
      2. Try different types of cannabis and switch it up often, your body can become accustomed to a specific terpene group and it can lead to it being less effective.
      3. When selecting your cannabis, make sure you know your terpenes and their individual effects. The "Entourage" effect is real and you'll find once you figure this out that the THC percentage isn't what you'll be chasing. 
      4. Your nose knows! If you smell some cannabis and dislike the aroma, chances are you won't enjoy the experience of the flavours of that strain. Finding out the terpenes contained in strains you don't like can help avoid unnecessary purchases of cannabis you won't enjoy simply due to its similarities with the other strains.

          Spartan Wellness is a third-party company that assists veterans (and first responders, RCMP, Front Line Workers, etc.) navigate the cannabis world. Spartan Wellness describes its business model as such:

          As Veterans, we have hand-selected and aligned ourselves with top-tier Canadian health care professionals. This team consists of subject matter experts with a proven history of successfully treating Veterans, RCMP, First Responders, Front Line Workers and all Canadians suffering from physical and mental ailments while understanding their needs and culture.
          Wellness programs that have been meticulously tailored by Veterans themselves. Spartan Wellness is a premier one-stop resource for your healthcare needs in Canada.
          Spartan Wellness offers a wide range of comprehensive medical services in Canada. Our offerings include medical cannabis prescriptions, topical pain solutions, psycho-social care, dietician and naturopathic services, and overall patient support. With a dedicated team of knowledgeable prescribers, educators, and staff, we are committed to providing personalized care. We empower our patients through education and unwavering support, ensuring they have the resources they need to make informed decisions about their health.

          In summary, we couldn’t be happier to welcome more veterans to our membership at Stash Club. In the past few weeks, we’ve been told by many of these vets that they are lucky to have us… but here we are thinking we are lucky to have them as part of our growing community of Cannabis enthusiasts. If you are a veteran and would like to explore your options with Stash Club, we suggest reaching out to Spartan Wellness first to receive assistance with the paperwork and navigation of the program.