How The Veteran Farmer helps vets in Edmonton

It’s called The Veteran Farmer Alberta, a family-run business that combines marijuana buds, brotherhood and other things, for the benefit of former soldiers.

“They’ve been a huge help,” said Matthew Bourdeau.

“I was medically released because of my injuries, and then the panic sets in because that’s all you’ve known for the last decade and a half, and you think, ‘What am I going to do with myself now?'”

He’s a retired paratrooper and military communications expert. After leaving the military, he says he had issues with Veteran Affairs forms and transitioning back to civilian life.

After finding The Veteran Farmer (TVF), Bourdeau credits them with helping him to not only get off of traditional medications, but also with renewing a sense of camaraderie.

“That’s exactly the word. That’s the biggest thing you miss when you leave is that camaraderie, and it’s not always easy to find that elsewhere, and TVF sets it up for you,” Bourdeau said.

The founder of TVF says she saw firsthand how traditional medications affected her family. Her husband is a veteran. So, they sought an alternative in cannabis.

“We know how to grow, we know we can teach people how to grow, let’s make our own nutrient line, let’s put on classes, let’s teach them how to make their own oils and their edibles,” Autumn Farmer explained about how TVF has evolved.

“Let’s do social events, let’s do some fundraising on the side to help out some families within our organization that need assistance, and it just grew from there.”

Trina Lee Warren works for TVF in Edmonton and said harm reduction is the goal.

“If we’re able to take them off of (prescription medications), help them treat the symptoms that they’re dealing with, and give them something that isn’t going to give them those adverse effects, they’re just better all around for it,” said Warren.

Around 2,000 veterans now use TVF and there are locations in six provinces. The organization hopes it can help more veterans access medical cannabis and the brotherhood they miss and need. More information is available online.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Saif Kaisar

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