‘Veterans first’ hiring trends in industry

Beyond the potential health benefits of medical marijuana, Kevin Schnell believes that companies entering this industry could provide jobs for veterans looking for work based on skill sets learned almost uniquely in the military. Schnell applied for a transportation license from the state for his company, KC Cann Transport LLC to specialize in safely transporting high-value assets, but he has been in the protection business for a long time with his company, KC Protective Services.

In an editorial written for Greenway in September, Schnell wrote “[N]ot only can the effects of medical marijuana benefit military veterans with PTSD, but I can get involved with this industry and bring many security jobs to military veterans so they can remain in the protection industry, stateside, as part of a cohesive group of military veterans and still have a strong sense of purpose while keeping them from having to separate from their families.”

Schnell said the business venture will focus on transportation security, but it will also offer some site security services (including theft prevention, protection of a crime scene, emergency response, access control, and use of force) for other sectors of the cannabis industry. As a longtime employer of veterans, he also wants to ensure that his workforce and hiring base also make the transition into cannabis protection with him.

“It is of great importance to support our military veterans,” Schnell said. ”Amendment 2 does this, and our company will do this by supporting Amendment 2 and by continuing to employ military veterans for our business, just as we have done in the past.”

Other applicants have shared Schnell’s line of thinking. Bradford Goette, the CEO and Managing Partner of Nirvana Investments, a parent company of four smaller companies that have submitted applications for four of the five designations (everything except cultivation). Goette says Nirvana’s transportation applicant, Bold Lane Logistics, will prioritize law enforcement and military veterans for hiring and that the company supports the Warrior Transition Network, a St. Louis based organization that connects veterans looking for work with companies looking to hire. Goette says that he has a “huge soft spot” in his heart for those who have served.

Some organizations will not focus exclusively on transportation. Prairie Land Farms (PLF), a cultivation applicant based just north of Kansas City, plans on utilizing preferential treatment towards veterans in its hiring process. Joshua Harden, the owner of PLF, says it’s important to hire veterans to help fulfill the original intention of Amendment 2.

“Prairie Land Farms believes that Amendment 2 was designed and sold to Missouri voters as a policy which would benefit the veteran community,” Harden says. “We believe part of that is to make sure veterans take a priority position in this new industry.”


Harden says his company hopes to use organizations and resources like the Veterans Cannabis Project (VCP), Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, Hire Heroes USA, and RecruitMilitary, among others. Prairie Land Farms also has a memorandum of understanding with a Kansas City non-profit called The Battle Within. Together, Prairie Land Farms and The Battle Within will investigate medicinal marijuana’s place in holistic treatment programs for PTSD.

Beyond just wanting to provide jobs for veterans and investigating the potential of cannabis to more effectively treat PTSD and other mental health problems, Harden says hiring veterans just makes good business sense.

“Veteran employees have operational and problem-solving skills and self-discipline that can be hard to find in the workforce,” Harden says. “As a general matter, employers have to worry less about a veteran showing up and getting the job done. It is that simple.”


This feature appeared in the October/November 2019 issue of Greenway Magazine.