Cannabis changed Joshua Both’s life for the better, now he wants to do the same for others.
He was a Canadian Armed Forces reserve when he broke his neck in 2011. It forced him to retire from the army and left him unable to work. However, Both, the founder and CEO of Buds by Cannilux, says cannabis helped him get to a point where he would rehabilitate his injury and work out again. “It created a passion for me,” Both says.
Tuesday was another milestone day for Both. He presented a $1,400 cheque to Stephen Beardwood, the chair and director of Veterans House. When Cannilux opened on Jan. 31, 2022, Both promised five percent of profits will go to the charity.
Both says the first year has been difficult for Cannilux because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, his plan is to present Veterans House with a cheque for $1.4 million this time next year.
Both says proceeds from all sales and other initiatives that he’s planning in the community will go to Veterans House. “We’re not looking for a boathouse or Ferraris,” he says. “We’re looking to support veterans.”
Beardwood says the charity uses its business knowledge and skills. He explains they partner with not-for-profits that work with veterans to help them push forward and get funding for their programs.
“We put all of our strength into our partners,” Beardwood says. “They are what matters, not us.”
Like Both, Beardwood was injured during his service time and used cannabis to recover. “Two years ago I started my journey to see if I could actually get some sleep,” he says. It took Beardwood two years to find a strain that works for him. “It’s not a quick, easy solution,” he says.
“I think that anytime businesses help in the community, it should be celebrated,” Gravenhurst Mayor-elect Heidi Lorenz says. “Our veterans have served us and it’s time to serve them.”
Lorenz, along with many of the newly elected council members, stopped by Cannilux for the cheque presentation. “This shows they’re community-minded people and they should be supported,” Lorenz continues.
His license allows him to open 74 more shops in Ontario. Anyone is able to become a franchisee, but Both says a discount is given to veterans that want to become involved in the business. “It provides a purpose,” he says. “The commonality when a veteran loses hope is that they’ve lost purpose and drive. This allows them to restart their own engine and that value of self-worth is invaluable.”