I have a lot of respect for military veterans. I have members of my family, and close personal friends that have served our country, and I'm very proud of them. Most of them have had a hard time when they come back to civilian life. It's hard for them to relate to the civilian world, and gaining reliable employment was an issue after they were discharged. I have recommended to a few of them to look for a career in the cannabis industry, but as far as I know, none of them have taken my advice yet.
I know there are marijuana businesses out there that give hiring preference to veterans. I'd like to see more businesses do that in this industry. Many marijuana businesses need private security, and veterans are a logical fit for that sector of the industry. Per International Business Times:
"There's plenty of ex-military available who are back from overseas and having a hard time finding work," says Dan Williams, head of Canna Security America, which is based in Denver but operates in 12 states. "What you were doing over there may not transition [to other lines of work]. You were trained to do something, and that doesn't really apply to working at Starbucks."
Indeed, unemployment among veterans is a nationwide problem. Even as the United States added more than 3 million jobs in 2014, 7.9 percent of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were still unemployed, higher than the national average of 5.7 percent.
"Right now, they need jobs," Williams says. "And we can help with that."
According to Williams, ex-military members tend to have a good work ethic and plenty of past training. And he expects that within the next few months roughly 70 to 80 percent of his staff will be former military, to account for an increased demand for armed guards and transport. Most of the entry-level jobs don't pay particularly well, but there is definitely room for growth.
I tip my hat to Canna Security America for hiring veterans. If you are a marijuana business, please do what you can to try to hire military veterans when you can. They have served our country proudly, and giving them a job is a great way to thank them for their service.