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Local Cannabis Business Owner Hopes to Give Back to Veteran Community

Our Veterans deserve all the opportunities for success that we can provide them.

The fast-growing cannabis and CBD industry in the State of Maine offers both an excellent business opportunity for Veterans and an incredibly useful medicinal alternative. Some of this country’s men and women who have served our country report various benefits with medicinal cannabis and CBD use. As cannabis use becomes more mainstream medicinally, many seek support for multiple needs and conditions, including many that may personally affect our Veterans. Additionally, many of the skills and personality traits specific to the military make Veterans an excellent fit to help Maine’s marijuana industry thrive, whether by filling employment opportunities or seeing a place within the industry to build a business of their own.

Kush Media Co. recently sat down with Veteran and local cannabis business owner Chris Duffy. He filled us in on the progress with his new business ventures that are coming soon to Winslow and Westbrook, Maine, and all the amazing things he is bringing to the community. He shared with us his belief in the benefits of medicinal cannabis and CBD use for Veterans, and additionally, why he believes the rapidly growing cannabis industry provides such an excellent occupational fit for many Veterans. Chris is hoping to bring many positives to the community — from economic growth to a fun and beneficial social setting, access to medicinal alternatives for his fellow Veterans, and many more of those who utilize medicinal CBD and cannabis for their needs.

Chris, and his business partners, are growing closer to the opening day of some exciting new cannabis-based businesses locally right here in Winslow and Westbrook, Maine.Cannabis in Winslow ME

Chris Duffy is working alongside his father to expand his business Shamrock Farms, est. 2014, and to build and establish his own business, Duffy’s Cafe. Shamrock Farms CBD & Cannabis Boutique is set to open a Winslow and Westbrook location in late 2020. The Shamrock Farms boutique will offer customers high-quality medicinal cannabis and CBD products for a variety of needs. Duffy’s Cafe is set to open its Winslow, Maine location in 2021. Duffy’s Cafe is an ingenious CBD-inspired cafe, offering delicious CBD-infused (or not–buyer’s choice) food and beverages that will be made to order, and frequently featuring local fresh ingredients and food products from other area businesses. All of this will happen at the former Lobster Trap building overlooking the Kennebec River waterfront and has involved some serious vision, ambition, and old-fashioned blood, sweat, and tears during the remodel. Here at Kush Media, we felt fortunate to be able to pull him away from all that for a bit to hear about just how much he believes in his community, in Veterans, and in Cannabis — from the power of the plant itself to the booming industry that is quickly becoming important for this great state. 

Chris shared with us that he finds his military experience to be especially helpful in particular within the cannabis industry and owed a piece of his growth and success. He believes the values that come with military experience and training to be an essential part. “The hard work and discipline, sticking to a schedule, sticking to your word, and following through.” Experience and training within the military often create Veterans that can be well-suited for the cannabis world. Veterans tend to like the structure and routine, such as the predictable growth schedules. They are disciplined, reliable, and work well under pressure, which fits the demands of the long hours and busy days found within the cannabis industry. Also, Chris shared that working in the cannabis industry allows a Veteran to reach out to the community, especially to connect to Veterans in need- “in this industry, you meet a lot of people, and I have common ground with a lot of people, both other veterans and people who are using the medicine for help as it should be used for.” 

Chris finds the cannabis industry offers unique job opportunities and can be a perfect fit that some other sectors cannot provide for Veterans’ unique skills and challenges.

Growing cannabis can be incredibly satisfying and soothing. The growing process affords the grower to spend a fair amount of time by himself, but provides an equally calm and fruitful environment, as Chris said, “like a utopia.”  Growing is calm and often solitary, and “for a lot of guys with a racing mind it’s nice for them to get in there and be alone, but they are growing something — using their brains and using their hands.” Many find investing this time and love into something that you are growing and seeing the fruits of your labor provides a nurturing and peaceful work focus.

Additionally, the cannabis industry allows Veterans to get in there and help create, help build a business, and build a life. Beyond the growing and bud tending aspect of the industry, “if you have a business acumen” and the sharp mind that military experience may provide, “there is no end to what you can do in this industry.” The cannabis industry in Maine and beyond is proving to be a sea of opportunities for everyone and Veterans alike. In Maine, the boom is coming, even with the tremendous growth, it has yet to hit us entirely, but it is coming. Chris believes with hard work and discipline and big dreams, you can position yourself to build a life and business within the cannabis industry- “it can really be a good thing for everyone.”

When asked if he thought being a Veteran was a driving force into why he wanted to enter this industry, Chris replied, “I would say thinking back on it; yeah, it’s the quickest way for me to be able to help a group of people that I hope always get the help that they need, and for me to give them help in a safe way.” Chris shared that Shamrock Farms and Duffy’s Cafe plan on doing a lot of work with veterans and organizations, from monetary support to job opportunities and everything in between, because they hope to take care of the Veteran community and the local community as well. Chris wants to “give back…it provided me a lot of opportunities, some I took advantage of and some I didn’t. But I have another chance to do that.” Here at Kush Media, Co., we believe it is necessary and wonderful to have an alternative medicinal option for our Veterans. We are excited to have gotten a glance at this developing place to go for support for Veterans and their families and friends.

Chris Duffy believes that cannabis is beneficial for Veterans, not just as members of the industry, but medicinally.

He hopes to be a beacon of support not only for the community as a whole but especially for his brothers and sisters. Chris said, “You can go through a period of time where you are not sure what’s going, and you feel a certain way, and it can be hard to see through.” He shared with us the story of his best friend and fellow Veteran, Jeremy Brooking — who was featured on CBS Evening News for his success with cannabis support. Jeremy found himself suffering more from side effects than the conditions themselves and knew there had to be a better way.{“ “Twenty-three different types of pills, easily over 100 different pills a day — most of those were narcotics, anxiety meds and sleeping meds,” Brooking says, noting he was sleeping 23 or 24 hours in the day.”} Chris shared that with the support of medicinal cannabis and bravery, Jeremy has gone on to have achieved a four-year college degree and is a happily married father of 2. This is just one of many inspiring stories that push Chris even harder to work towards being an important member of the community for Maine’s citizens and veterans alike. 

Not all of Veteran’s stories are as powerful as that one, but the support many claim to get from cannabis is inspiring, whether it’s for something minor or something significant. Anything that can bring a better quality of life for someone is worth exploring. Chris shared with us that he believes the medicinal use of cannabis can be highly beneficial for many people, but especially Veterans, and he has found this to be true personally. From his own experiences, Chris has found that medicinal cannabis can be the perfect support to increase his personal health, well-being, productivity, and ability to keep pushing hard towards his business dreams. Chris personally finds support from cannabis with sleep. A restful night’s sleep can improve the next day’s focus, energy levels, immune system, and mood. Chris does not tend to need daytime support. Still, occasionally on a bad day, he is grateful for the option, and at night, he is grateful for the sleep support to relax, sleep and then focus on being ready for another productive day.

Chris is excited to open these local cannabis and CBD businesses, be a community member, get to know his customers, be there to help, and support customers, patients, and veterans alike.Cannabis Edibles Maine

He is hopeful to continue the fight to end the stigma to medicinal cannabis use so that those in need can more easily gain access. He said “the medicinal uses of cannabis can be a real melting pot” from anyone in need to Veterans in particular — from the younger and currently returning home struggling Veterans to the older generation of Veteran’s who have not received the support and care they have deserved since they first came back from War some time ago. The quicker the stigma has been erased, the quicker those who need to be connected to the benefits of medicinal cannabis will be able to gain access. He feels honored to be a part of that process, and we felt honored to get to share his feelings and thoughts with the rest of the community.


-Nikki Fowler with Kush Media Co., in Waterville, Maine