Some California Veterans Are Making Green in the Lucrative Cannabis Industry

From combat to armed cargo.

With banks and big security companies steering clear of the cannabis industry, some California veterans are cashing in. According to a story that ran in Los Angeles Magazine, military vets have stepped in to offer armed transport for marijuana profits across the state.

“In addition to the paychecks, some veterans gravitate toward safeguarding cannabis because of a kinship with the culture and product, extending a relationship solidified in the Vietnam War when service members used pot to treat physical and mental traumas. ‘I think the medicinal qualities are really speaking to a lot of veterans, and on the security side, it is something that they know,’ says Caleb Patton, a former Marine infantryman now leading Denver-based Iron Protection Group, a veteran-heavy marijuana security company that is expanding into California.

“Spencer Gilbert, 39, a former Navy airplane technician, found work as a security guard in Los Angeles, including a stint for the high-end weed retailer MedMen. After struggling with homelessness and using cannabis as self-medication, he says the job provided a veteran-friendly option with like-minded coworkers. ‘I’m making enough to be a roommate; it’s enough to get by,” says Gilbert, who earns $22 an hour. ‘It basically got me off the street.’”

You can read more about veterans’ roles in the industry here.

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