Trying to Stop the Epidemic of Veteran Suicides, Plant Medicine Company Builds Mental Wellness Value Chain
s GNN and others have reported, the effectiveness of plant medicines like cannabis and psilocybin to treat chronic anxiety, treatment-resistant depression, and PTSD is no longer deniable.
Now a Canadian former-hospital administrator has pounced on that evidence, founding a company that specializes in utilizing plant medicines to give veterans, police, paramedics, ambulance staff, and firefighters the treatment they need to get back on the path to mental health and wellness.
Allied Corporation is utilizing the legalized state of cannabis in Canada, and in 14 U.S. states, to get quality-tested cannabis and CBD products for mental health and wellness into the hands of these heroes who are, tragically, some of the most commonly afflicted cohorts in society.
According to reports from the American Psychiatric Association, depression causes a $200 billion loss in workplace productivity every year, while the CDC finds 200 million work days are lost to mental health-related sick days. The statistic that Callum Hughes, CEO of Allied, is interested in, however, is 17 suicides a day according to the Canadian Department of Veterans Affairs.
Hughes calls it 22—which may include Canadian veteran suicides in addition to those from south of the border. Call it 17 or call it 22, it’s between 17 and 22 too many in Hughes’ opinion.
Hughes had 10 years within the administrative and QA centers of hospital infrastructure when he came to learn about cannabis for treating things like PTSD in the run-up to the country’s eventual legalization of the drug.
“Myself and the Chief Operating Officer, he’s a Canadian veteran, we really started to realize along with some of the peer positions that I was in contact with that cannabis was very effective for chronic pain and getting off medication like morphine, oxycodone—drugs like this—but also for trauma survivors in the veteran cohort,” Hughes told GNN.
In founding Allied Corp, Hughes looked to create a total supply-chain, from wide-scale production and quality testing, to bringing different products to market through vendors selling direct to veterans or first responders, to cutting-edge research in Israel and Austria looking to expand the field of applied plant medicine even further.
“We’re right in the corner for commercial scale-up, so it’s a real exciting time for the company’s journey,” Hughes explained.
Colombia’s green hills
Allied’s primary production occurs in a country one would never associate with wide-scale legalized production of cannabis due to its traumatic history with other drugs: Colombia.
Why there? “The special nature of the temperate climate in Colombia, the strains that we have registered… and the cannabinoid profile tested as higher in the Colombian climate as opposed to in North America,” said Hughes.
Allied’s production in Colombia is vast and cost-effective—producing 10 psychoactive strains and 10 non-psychoactive at around ten cents per gram.
“We traveled to Colombia in 2019 and acquired a large-scale farm down there. We entered out genetics to the Ministry of Agriculture and proceeded in what they called ‘seed evaluation,’” he continued. “[It was] the first time ever, as it was communicated to us, that a company presented to the Ministry… passed all 20 out of 20 strains that were submitted.”
This has allowed the company to launch a line of several CBD-infused products in addition to their pharmaceuticals.
“Tactical Relief is a CBD-infused tincture targeted at the veteran cohort,” explains Hughes, adding that the CBD content in the Colombian-grown cannabis is much higher than equivalent strains in the U.S. “Equilibrium Bio is an athlete-focused brand, we have an electrolyte rehydration drink as well as a tincture and athletic rub… all infused with CBD.”
Allied also does a variety of charity events to help veterans, police, and first responders get on the path back to mental health and wellness, including regular healing retreats that offer traditional therapy, and also supplementary activities like meditation and yoga.
Oms, colorful cushions, and breathing exercises maybe aren’t what people associate with veterans, but Allied’s website is smattered with hyperlinks to studies proving the effectiveness of things like meditation for helping recovery from trauma.
“One of our brand ambassadors was a 17-year Green Beret and United States veteran who has really overcome his story with PTSD, so it’s an authentic message brought to market by authentic people,” explains Hughes.
Now a publicly traded company on various stock exchanges, Allied’s waves of success crests during a period where the mental health and wellness of many in the United States has perhaps never been poorer.
As government-mandated travel restrictions and business closures continues to spike mental health problems across the country, like gold in a recession, demand in plant medicine is trending the opposite direction.
“We’ve seen an increase in demand on the people level. And if you look around the whole COVID thing, people’s mental health was generally affected by that,” said Hughes. “The increase in cannabis and CBD sales has been reported to us from our distributor partners from the U.S.”
Recently, GNN reported the success of another cannabis and psilocybin-based corporation. It’s a growing field, and the advantage of having access to public funding is that companies like Allied Corp allow the average person’s interest and belief in plant medicines to be channeled into investments.
Featured image: Kat Geb, CC license
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