Hempster Honours Canadian Veterans with Cannabis-Infused Dinner

On Saturday, February 10, Hempster invited ten Canadian heroes to gather in Toronto and indulge in seven courses of cannabis-infused gastronomy.

You could say they were a tough crowd; after all, collectively this group has survived anti-tank mines, car crashes, PTSD, Afghanistan, chronic pain and opioid dependencies, and are more accustomed to serving than being served.

But by the time the second course arrived – a seabream ceviche garnished with peanuts, sesame snaps, chilis and cannabis oil – the veterans had eased into the evening, swapping stories of life in the Canadian Forces, and sharing how cannabis helps them manage the physical and psychological effects of war and injury.

Veterans share their journeys with medical cannabis

Led by fellow veteran Shamus O’Reilly, of The Shamus O’Reilly Show, the conversation ranged through emotional territory, many vets laughing over the first time they tried their new medication, while others cried recalling the pain of life before medical cannabis.

Retired corporal Brenda Stocks, who suffered a car crash while serving, told the group that it took another 20 years after the accident to finally get a PTSD diagnosis. That was 20 years spent seeking explanations for chronic pain, and 20 years dealing with the side effects of opioid painkillers, which she says robbed her of her ability to feel.

“I don’t know if I could ever go back to the horrors of that pain. You can’t get comfortable, you can’t sleep,” she said, wiping away a tear, before smiling.

“These are happy tears,” she continued. “Cannabis changed everything about my life.”

Indeed, all of the veterans’ stories could be divided into a before and an after, the days before they obtained a legal medical cannabis prescription, and the days after, when cannabis helped them cope.

Although the conversation veered into some deep territory, the dinner was, overall, a celebratory affair, as Toronto gastronomy wizards the Food Dudes and Hempster’s Chef Ronnie Fishman served gourmet dishes infused with the veterans’ own prescription cannabis, each dish richer than the last.

“Every bite was ‘Oh my god,'” said retired medic Shannon Gray.

The Veterans Dinner was the first of many planned Hempster-hosted celebrations. Stay tuned to our events page, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, where we’ll share the details of our next cannabis gastronomy event, and how you can participate. In the likely event that the food pictures here leave you hungry, please head over to our Elevated Edibles section to learn how you whip up cannabis-infused recipes in your own kitchen.

The full cannabis-infused menu:

Jalapeno Corn Muffins

Chronic Ceviche

Magic Mushroom Cappucino

Stoned and Smoked Branzino

Mary Jane’s Pasta

Wagyu Kush Beef

Indica Lava Cake