It’s not just on Veterans Day, which just passed on Nov. 11, when budtenders are helping veterans treat issues like chronic pain, insomnia or PTSD with cannabis. Many dispensaries offer discounts for veterans year-round, usually 10 – to 15-percent off. Starting last summer, The Reef decided to take appreciation for veterans one step further.
On July 22, they kicked off a monthly veterans compassion day where they offer goodie bags filled with a range of cannabis products from flower, pre-rolls and vapes to tinctures, edibles and topicals – for free – to any veteran with a medical cannabis card, and for a penny to those without.
The Reef, which has a number of employees and customers who are veterans and offers them a regular 15-percent discount, was looking to do more. When Senate Bill 31 passed, allowing cannabis retailers to provide free cannabis products to medical patients beginning on March 1, 2020, they immediately started putting together their veteran compassion day plan.
“We wanted to find more holistic ways of treating the many things that veterans deal with,” says Ree Stewart, marketing manager at The Reef.
And the date they chose, the 22nd of every month, has significance. According to a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study, 22 veterans on average die of suicide each day. The goal is to not only provide veterans with access to more holistic care, but also to bring awareness to some of the mental health struggles they may face.
Last month, The Reef assembled 40 bags, and ran out before the day was over. This month, on Nov. 22, they’re hoping to make and distribute 100.
THE REEF 1900 Fremont Blvd., Seaside. 900-7333, montereybayreef.com