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Dedicated to its progressive mission statement of empowering Canadians with the knowledge to destigmatize the positive uses of cannabis, CannaConnect, a Toronto-based company, is a leader in the medical marijuana industry. CannaConnect has stepped out of the traditional mould of only providing medical marijuana. It seeks to create a community of health and wellbeing while educating both its patients and healthcare providers.
While the company’s headquarters are in Toronto, CannaConnect has offices across the country, many of which are around Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) bases. Each CannaConnect team consists of leading physicians with specialities including psychiatry, pain management, psychology, family medicine, and emergency medicine. When visiting a CannaConnect office for the first time, people can expect to be seen by a local doctor, where they would receive a diagnosis, get a prescription to the most appropriate strain of cannabis for them, and receive answers to any questions they may have.
Patients then return for follow-up appointments at three months, six months, and nine months into their treatment. Additionally, their paperwork is taken care of for them.
“Somebody who receives a script and medication is not just sent out the door and told to figure it out themselves,” explained (ret’d) Cpl. Shannon Gray, a CannaConnect Veteran Ambassador and Office Manager at the Petawawa branch. explained (ret’d) Cpl. Shannon Gray, a CannaConnect Veteran Ambassador and Office Manager at the Petawawa branch.
Founded on the philosophy that knowledge is power when it comes to erasing the stigma of cannabis use, CannaConnect offers online and on-site educational opportunities, online modules, workshops, and corporate training. The company also provides educational material and resources explaining, for example, how different strains of cannabis can alleviate various health problems.
“Even if they’re just curious, people can stop in at any our offices to just ask questions,” Shannon Gray, Veteran Medic, 2 Field Ambulance
What makes CannaConnect especially unique is a great deal of its services are geared towards veterans and the members of the military community. In fact, CannaConnect offices are run by veteran ambassadors who volunteer to help connect to other veterans. Considered the backbone of the company, veteran ambassadors are comprised of former and current JTF2 operators, senior warrant officers, master trainers from the DND, Mental Health Commission, and OSI sufferers as well as a network of dedicated volunteers and top-tier administrators. Notably, many of the veteran ambassadors themselves have turned to medical marijuana for relief.
“When used properly, as a proper medication, it’s very beneficial, and youcan still function and take care of your family,” (ret’d) Pt. Erin McMeekin, veteran ambassador at the Petawawa CannaConnect
CannaConnect’s services have proved to be useful for new and older veterans, as well as people looking for an alternative to prescription medication according to McMeekin.
Along with its educational component, CannaConnect promises to put the patient first and build a community based on support and compassion. The company not only welcomes patients but also opens its doors to family members and caregivers. The company also offers coaching, peer support, cooking classes, and social activities to add to the nurturing environment it hopes to foster. CannaConnect offices have in essence become drop-in-centres for veterans, still=-serving members, and other patients wishing to speak to someone if they’re having a bad day. They might come in solely for a conversation with the company’s veteran ambassadors. With its open-door policy and friendly veteran ambassadors, CannaConnect is sure to create a safe haven for all its patients, veteran or civilian, and empower them with the tools to gain the relief they deserve.