Elevate Holistics, a multi-state operator in the medical cannabis industry, has announced a donation of $5,000 to K9s for Warriors, the nation’s largest provider of service dogs to United States’ military veterans.
Elevate Holistics is a telehealth platform that focuses on helping patients get their medical cannabis cards and physician’s medical cannabis certifications as easy as possible, with a goal of increasing accessibility to those in need and provide an easy platform that people can use form the privacy of their own homes by providing alternative advanced healthcare options, encrypted SSL safe-site security, turn-key business solutions for clinics, online cannabis healthcare clinics, and compassionate follow-up care. Encrypted telehealth visits help patients navigate their ow state’s laws surrounding cannabis with confidence.
“Veterans experience a variety of mental health challenges when they return home, and giving them the support they need should be a national priority,” said Stephen Stearman, CEO of Elevate Holistics. “We hope that with this donation we can take steps towards addressing this vitally important issue and give Veterans the tools to heal.”
As legalized cannabis becomes more prevalent across the U.S., more veterans are turning to cannabis to help treat a multitude of injuries, both physical and mental, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs noted the rise in cannabis use across by U.S. veterans coincides with the rise in cannabis use across the country. In 2014, nine percent of U.S. military veterans reported using cannabis within the past year compared to 2019-2020, when the prevalence of cannabis use by U.S. veterans in the past six months was 11.9 percent, and over 20 percent in veterans aged 18-44.
Some members of Congress are working towards legislation that would provide military veterans access to medical cannabis and other alternative forms of treatment. A bipartisan push to provide medical cannabis access has recently been reintroduced in Congress, having been introduced several times in recent years with bipartisan support but yet to be passed and enacted. Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Brian Mast, co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, are the chief sponsors of the Veterans Equal Access Act, which aims to allow doctors at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to recommend medical cannabis to patients in states where medical cannabis is legal.
VA doctors are currently allowed to discuss medical cannabis with patients, but to authorized to issue recommendations, even in states with legal medical or recreational cannabis. Blumenauer believes that although not everyone in congress is ready to legalize cannabis, the increase in veteran acceptance proves legislation could be enacted sooner rather than later.
“I think the prospects have never been better,” Blumenauer said. “This is one where there’s overwhelming bipartisan support. We have ill-treated our veterans. There was a time when we passed out opioids to them like Tic Tacs while we denied them the ability to use their VA doctor to be able to deal with medical cannabis, which would have been safer and more effective.”
Researchers for Veterans Affairs have also explored other options for veterans to help treat combat veterans suffering from PTSD. Four researchers have been conducting studies to help bridge the gap between mental health and psychedelic-assisted therapy. Dr. Leslie Morland, who has over two decades worth of experience with PTSD therapies, is set to begin a clinical study near the ed of 2022 that will study eight participants and their partners. Morland hopes to see an increase in bonding and empathy in her patients.
“A lot of our military learn to emotionally disconnect in order to be effective in combat,” Dr. Morland said. “And then we’re bringing them back and saying: Now we need you to open up with our talk therapy.”