Once a month, staff members at the Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance (SCVA) fill more than 100 brown paper bags with high-quality medical cannabis and pass them out for free at a local community center. For the military veterans who receive it—many of whom struggle with PTSD—the medical cannabis acts as a lifeline to health.
The SCVA, which operates out of an old office in a Santa Cruz neighborhood, has been serving local men and women since 2011, when the organization was founded by military veterans Aaron Newsom and Jason Sweatt.
After six years of service, though, SCVA’s mission now faces challenges due to an ironic new development: the legalization of cannabis in California. New regulations due to take effect in early 2018 don’t allow the SCVA to continue operating as they do today.
“With the new law, if we’re not at the end of the chain of custody, we are not allowed to …
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