(Reno) Earlier this week, Mainstream Partners, a leading medical cannabis licensing, lobbying and communications firm based in Nevada, launched a robust national initiative geared at providing military veterans and their families the support and resources necessary to individually choose how they treat and manage various combat-related illnesses. Mainstream Marijuana Association (Mainstream) is a comprehensive effort to provide veterans safe and affordable access to medicinal marijuana while supporting the families, employers, legislators and elected officials who help them. The Veterans Administration (VA) estimates that more than 20 United States veterans commit suicide each day and hundreds of thousands of veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Mainstream is determined to provide a safer and more effective alternative for relief and management, than what veterans are currently being prescribed. For more information on Mainstream, visit www.mainstreammj.org.
“It’s no secret that the men and women who have served and sacrificed in the various branches of the U.S. military face significant challenges in their daily lives and they are greatly underserved,” said Joey Gilbert, chief executive officer of Mainstream and founder of Mainstream Partners. “Similarly, it’s also no secret that many of our veterans have found tremendous relief in cannabis, with far fewer side effects than the various pharmaceuticals and drugs that are currently prescribed to them.”
Co-founded by Joey Gilbert, a practicing Nevada attorney, former national collegiate boxing champion and son of a retired Naval officer, and Boone Cutler, a current-war combat veteran, author, director, columnist, on-air personality and medical marijuana patient, Mainstream was created to help veterans nationwide gain access to medicinal cannabis and to support policy makers in this continued endeavor. A member-based organization, the purpose of Mainstream is to give veterans a choice in their treatment and a voice in the fight.
Veterans suffering from PTSD, insomnia and other illnesses are regularly prescribed a “combat cocktail” of antidepressants, antipsychotics and benzodiazepines that have significant potential for abuse and are often accompanied with damaging and debilitating side effects. While cannabis is rapidly becoming a more preferred treatment method for veterans, many of them still have difficulty accessing medical marijuana, despite its growing acceptance and legalization in states all over the country.
“I was proud to serve in the United States military and am grateful to the continued service of so many of my brothers and sisters,” said Cutler, Mainstream’s chief creative officer. “I have seen and experienced first-hand the life-changing nature of combat – both physically and mentally – and I can also attest to the fact that the medicines and remedies we’re currently using to treat these men and women often do much more harm than good. Cannabis has had a profound and positive impact on my quality of life and I am committed to working to make sure all veterans have access to the same relief.”
In addition to Gilbert and Cutler, Mainstream includes industry expert Clint Cates as chief operating officer, and experienced research and policy analyst Kiera Sears as chief policy strategist. The team has led the charge for much of the legislative change surrounding Nevada and its medical marijuana program. Gilbert is additionally an MME owner and partner in the MYNT Dispensary in downtown Reno (opening December 2016).
Though its mission is focused on supporting veteran access, Mainstream is open to anyone who would like to join. The association not only serves as a resource for helping veterans gain access to, locate, and procure cannabis, it is also designed to be a powerful advocacy voice for policy makers as they continue to develop laws and regulations that allow veterans the freedom to use cannabis as an alternative treatment source. For more information on Medical Marijuana Association or to become a member, visit www.mainstreammj.org. Membership starts at $35 for veterans and their caregivers and $50 for civilian supporters and advocates. Every membership includes two free vape pens and chargers, custom dog tags with an individualized personal ID number to access industry rewards and discounts, and a redemption certificate for a $1, 550ML oil cartridge (courtesy of KYND Cannabis Company).