Veteran Q&A: Vashon Ferguson of Harvest 360
Greenway Magazine is highlighting veterans leading the launch of the cannabis industry for the month of November – and as the cornerstone of the October/November magazine. Vashon W. Ferguson, director of operations for Harvest 360, a full service cannabis business consultancy and technology company. Ferguson enlisted in the Air Force in 1994, serving until 1998. He joined the Army in 2002, being commissioned as an engineer officer in January 2003. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s while in the military. He retired in 2018 in the rank of major after a combined 20 years of service. Greenway Magazine caught up with Ferguson to learn about his service and what the industry means to him as a veteran.
Why did you choose to enter the medical marijuana industry?
As I approached retirement from the military, I started looking at growth industries as well as ways I could continue to contribute to society. Once I started researching the Cannabis Industry and learned about all the medicinal benefits for issues that plague veterans, I was hooked. With that as the root of my passion, I began to see how this plant has been demonized in the past, yet holds huge potential as a medicine for a lot of people.
What does the passage of Amendment 2 mean to you as a veteran?
The passing of Amendment 2 was another crucial step in the push to have this plant accepted by the general population. But more importantly, it was another step in getting cannabis accepted by the scientific and medical communities as a valid form of research and treatment for patients.
How does medical marijuana help veterans?
There are numerous conditions that benefit from treatment with medicinal cannabis, and none of them are unique to veterans. However, from my experience and from speaking with a lot of veterans, there are some conditions that are common among Vets. Pain management alone is huge for the Vet community. We suffer from a lot of aches and pains that result from a career spent abusing our bodies. We tend to suffer from back pain, arthritis (at relatively young ages), joint pain and other physical damage. Many Vets suffer from PTSD and/or nightmares and cannabis had been proven to be a highly effective treatment. By the way, when many people hear about issues like PTSD and nightmares among veterans, they only imagine the worst-case scenario in which the person is completely incapacitated. However, there are many of us that have mild to moderate symptoms that, while not incapacitating, certainly affect our quality of life. Cannabis has shown to greatly help with managing these conditions.
How does your service influence your view of the industry?
One of the reasons I joined the military was because I wanted to contribute to the safety of our country and work towards its betterment. I see my role in this industry as just an extension of my commitment to serve.
Are you all working with veterans in the community as a company?
One of Harvest 360’s core missions is to serve our fellow Veterans. We continually use our network to push for research within the VA, as well as assist Vets with finding employment and support outside the traditional governmental networks (which are antiquated and are no longer meeting the needs of today’s Vets).