• November 26, 2020

Local medical marijuana facility to employ veterans

 Local medical marijuana facility to employ veterans

From The Express staff reports

SOUTH AVIS – Pennsylvania medical cannabis company Terrapin Care Station is following through with its commitment to hire veterans as it prepares to open a medical marijuana facility in South Avis. VetForce, a new security firm largely operated by veterans, aims at stimulating economic opportunities for veterans in rural Clinton County.

Terrapin Care Station, utilizing a partnership with VetForce, will hire a workforce of 30 percent veterans in the coming weeks. A Terrapin job fair will soon be announced.

Veterans looking for employment will be encouraged to attend.

“My service didn’t end with my retirement from the U.S. Army in 2006. I continue to look for ways to ease the transition for vets when they return home. I have no doubt that medical cannabis will save veterans’ lives,” said David Harger, founder of VetForce, who was instrumental in working with Terrapin Care Station to develop services and outreach to veterans.

Terrapin Care Station has worked to highlight the medicinal value of cannabis, especially for veterans who struggle with opioid abuse and PTSD. Medical marijuana has proven a safer alternative to opioids and as a treatment for veterans struggling with PTSD.

Terrapin Care Station is one of 12 grower/processors to receive approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to open a medical marijuana facility. The 40,000-square-foot facility on Henry Street in Pine Creek Township is already operational, with plans to begin distributing medical cannabis products in the coming months.

VetForce currently employs 10 people — 80 percent veterans — who have been trained to provide on-site security for Terrapin Care Station’s employees and products at its Henry Street facility. Harger expects the business to grow to at least 15 employees in the near term with sustainable growth over time.

The idea came from a meeting first initiated by the Clinton County Economic Partnership, with assistance from state Rep. Mike Hanna, state Sen. Joe Scarnati’s office, and other local officials.

Chris Woods, founder and chief executive of Terrapin Care Station, met with Harger to form a partnership with VetForce.

“Our support for veterans is part of our corporate mission,” said Woods, who grew up in the Keystone State and attended Pennsylvania State University. “Assisting in the founding of VetForce with Dave Harger is the first of many steps that we will take. We can serve those who have so honorably served our country through good jobs and by providing a safe product for those who suffer from PTSD, chronic pain and opioid abuse.”

Terrapin Care Station has begun hiring its own workforce of about 40 people, who are responsible for growing, processing and packaging medical marijuana.

“We wanted to show Chris and his team that Clinton County was united in welcoming the medical marijuana business to our community,” said Mike Flanagan, chief executive of the Clinton County Economic Partnership and local Chamber of Commerce. “The show-of-support ran deep and represented state and municipal officials, business leaders and law enforcement. Our success can be attributed to a spirit of collaboration on all sides.”

“It didn’t take long for us to realize that Terrapin Care Station was a leader in the industry and their commitment to veterans would serve as a model for Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program,” Harger said. “Without Chris Woods and his vision to support veterans, none of this would have happened.”

“We refer to it as a win-win-win,” continued Flanagan. “In addition to the health benefits of medical marijuana, we are helping our veterans and demonstrating a positive economic impact on our community. We feel good about being part of that story.”

Terrapin Care Station (TCS), one of 12 recipients of a Pennsylvania medical cannabis grow/process license, is consistently held as an industry model. TCS will begin selling medical cannabis products in Pennsylvania this spring, distributing to licensed dispensaries serving patients with serious medical conditions. With roots in Boulder, Colo. as a medical cannabis provider dating back to 2009, TCS is a consumer-focused cultivator and provider of high-quality products. With about 200 employees, TCS is a full-service seed-to-sale marijuana business with five storefronts in Colorado, a retail cannabis license in Oregon, and the medical license in Pennsylvania. Follow TCS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Peter Marcus

Peter Marcus

Peter Marcus served as the Senior Statehouse Reporter for the Colorado Springs Gazette where he co-launched ColoradoPolitics.com, covering politics, the governor’s office, the Colorado Legislature, Congress, and federal, state and local governments. He joined in November 2016 from The Durango Herald. The Washington Post twice named Marcus one of the top state-based political and legislative reporters in the nation. He also has won over a dozen awards from the Colorado Press Association. In prior positions, Marcus worked for the Colorado Statesman, a Denver-based political weekly, and The Denver Daily News, a former free daily newspaper in Denver, where he covered City Hall, politics, and had an entertainment column. Before that, Marcus worked for the Longmont Times-Call. An Ithaca College graduate, Marcus studied journalism and creative writing, before moving to Colorado from New York in 2004.

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