AUSTIN (KXAN)— As military veterans across the country struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and other chronic ailments, many are trying to find available treatment options.
Rather than taking prescription medications, some are settled with using medical marijuana.
In Austin, goodblend — one of only three medical cannabis operators licensed to operate in Texas — is giving away free Texas medical marijuana prescriptions to veterans.
According to goodblend community relations manager Terrence Baugh, these prescriptions can cost people between $200-$300 depending on the doctor.
“It keeps them off the black market,” he said. “We want to make it very accessible and usable for them to be a part of this program to energize and engage them in what Texas already has.”
Over the past month, the medical marijuana dispensary has rolled out its veteran impact program, prescribing to around 200 veterans.
It’s all part of the Texas Compassionate Use Program, which added post-traumatic stress disorder to a list of qualifying conditions in 2021.
Air Force veteran Shaun Salvaje was diagnosed with PTSD after serving stints in Iraq and Afghanistan.
She’s taking part in goodblend’s veteran impact program and believes tons of Texans don’t realize they may be eligible to purchase medical marijuana.
“We have veterans who are losing their lives to suicide every day,” Salvaje said. “If cannabis can prevent that with a viable, healthy, plant option, then I’m all for it.”
As it wraps up its pilot program, goodblend still has a few free prescriptions available for those who qualify.
In order to take part in the veteran impact program, you must be able to provide a valid military ID and be qualified for a medical marijuana prescription under the Texas Compassionate Use Program.
Once you’ve got a prescription, goodblend is also offering those eligible a 35% discount on their first products purchased.
To get qualified as a TCUP patient for one of the 150+ conditions currently approved, you can visit goodblend’s website.