A New Jersey dispensary has a special gift for veterans in the lead up to Memorial Day. Harmony, a medical marijuana dispensary in Secaucus, is honoring a local veteran and cannabis activist, Leo Bridgewater, with a new strain developed with military vets in mind, named Bridge H2O. Bridgewater has been a vocal advocate for cannabis legalization and was instrumental in helping New Jersey recognize the substantial benefits of medical cannabis.
Bridgewater summed up his feelings about creating a new strain for vets saying, “To have this happen to me – wow – this is the ultimate nod to [vets from] the cannabis industry.”
Harmony collaborated with Spc. Bridgewater to make a unique strain designed to alieve the conditions many veterans experience, such as PTSD, insomnia and anxiety. They have been researching and testing strains for over a year, using Leo’s past experience with cannabis as a guide, to find the perfect balance that effectively relieves such ailments.
“Harmony Dispensary really wants to focus on how medical cannabis can play a huge role in uniting the community. Working with someone like Leo, a well- known community activist and combat veteran, on Bridge H20 is just one of the many ways we can do that,” said Adam Johnstone, Director of Cultivation at Harmony.
Harmony carefully selected a terpene profile and potency designed to reduce stress, boost moods and bring relaxation. In the end, Harmony and Leo decided on beta caryophyllene, limonene, myrcene and humulene as the four dominant terpenes in the strain. It is a hybrid flower composed of 70% indica and 30% sativa.
Bridgewater was an Army Specialist who toured in Iraq and Afghanistan, working with some of the highest ranked officers as a communications liaison. After his retirement from the army, he began struggling with PTSD but found anti-anxiety medications and opiates he received from Veterans Affairs caused unwanted side effects. Through cannabis therapy, he discovered medical marijuana was successful in treating his symptoms without the fatigue brought on by pharmaceuticals.
“What’s the fix for anxiety? To take another pill? They pass those out at V.A. like candy. And then we end up in the opioid pandemic. They are approaching this all wrong,” said Bridgewater.
Bridgewater was one of three veterans asked to testify before the New Jersey State Assembly during which an amendment to add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for the state’s medical marijuana system was under consideration. He then went on to become an advocate of cannabis for veterans, founding the New Jersey Cannabis Commission, a non-profit organization that works to support and promote cannabis education, advocacy, and business in the state of New Jersey.
Harmony’s new Bridge H2O strain is designed to bring relief to New Jersey’s veteran population of over 400,000, or roughly 5% of the total New Jersey population. It’s heartwarming to see the cannabis industry collaborate with and support those who fought for our country and who deserve effective medicine that curbs symptoms without the detrimental side effects.
Patients can schedule appointments for curbside pick-up by visiting Harmony’s website.