Growing trend shows patients turning to marijuana to deal with PTSD

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day. The purpose of the day is to bring issues related to Post-Traumatic Stress disorder to light. One of the big local proponents behind getting the message out is a local marijuana dispensary.

Nevada’s cannabis industry has its roots in medical marijuana, and as the budding industry continues to bloom, some dispensaries are noticing a growing trend of patients who are turning to the plant to help deal with post-traumatic stress.

“My friends were all going on this adventure that I kind of wanted to join on,” said Matt Koetting.

Koetting’s adventure turned into an 11-year career in the Marine Corps, but he was severely hurt halfway through his service, and it has had lingering effects.

“I have a traumatic brain injury,” said Koetting. “Frontal lobe, I have reconstructive elbows, broken back, glaucoma in my right eye; a few other things. I’m diagnosed with post-traumatic stress.”

Koetting owns a business that provides security guards, all Military veterans, to several dispensaries around the valley. While neither he nor his employees use cannabis due to restrictions around being licensed to carry a firearm, he’s become more of an advocate for its use to help treat some of the ailments for which he sees his fellow veterans coming to the dispensaries.

“It’s exciting to watch as well, too, because it seems like it’s helping people,” Koetting said. “It seems like it’s helping guys that I know.”

“They’re kind of coming in and trying to figure out like ‘how do I deal with this pain? How do I deal with these anxieties and, and you know, depression and all this kind of stuff,'” said Tiffany Hoven, the director of operations at the Grove Dispensary?

Hoven is part of a growing trend of people with backgrounds in the medical field, moving into the cannabis industry.

“To get the awareness of PTSD is is very big to me and near and dear to my heart, and I want to get — you know — information out there and let people know that there are other opportunities and other avenues,” Hoven said.

That includes CB, the non-psychoactive chemical in the cannabis plant. As CBD is becoming more common as an alternative treatment for everything from minor ailments to seizures, Hoven says more research should be done on cannabis in general and its medicinal benefits.

The dispensary is offering 20 percent discounts on a couple of product lines, along with informational booths related to PTSD throughout the store. It’s not just open to veterans: The dispensary wants to focus on people from all walks of life who suffer from post-traumatic stress.

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