Ahead of 4/20, new cannabis products are hitting the market for an eager and growing consumer base. That includes new, intriguing entrants in all product categories—but also new product delivery methods, like Helmand Valley Growers Co.’s new refillable glass prerolls in California.
Consider this new product line a prepacked twist on the classic chillum. Helmand Valley’s glass prerolls come with a half-gram of diamond-infused cannabis flower and artful designs that turn the glassware into a bit of a collector’s item. The idea is to provide a discreet and low-stakes option for those customers wishing to take their flower consumption on the go.
Bryan Buckley, president and CEO of Helmand Valley Growers Co., which is based in San Diego, says that the idea came from an auspicious meeting at Hall of Flowers in 2021. He met the team from Pre-Packs, a company based in Massachusetts which had been eyeing a launch in California. Buckley says the two teams really connected and found a set of shared values between them. The Pre-Packs team had identified Helmand Valley Growers Co. as the company with just the right sort of ethos to help along a launch in the biggest cannabis market in the world.
“It’s a very conveniently sized product,” Buckley says. “You can stash it in your pocket. And we just like how it’s recyclable and reusable and made in America. It just made sense.” Helmand Valley Growers Co. has strong roots in the veteran community. Its name derives from Buckley’s time serving as a U.S. Marine Raider. He served in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan; Raiders who’ve also served in the province will know the sense of unity that came from the Helmand Valley Gun Club: HVGC. Each Raider who served in the province was a member of that group, and each one has an HVGC tattoo. “We really wanted to pay a tribute to those who went there,” he says.
The new preroll product line has made such a splash among the Helmand Valley team that fellow Marine veteran Joe Brennan, owner of MindRight, a dispensary business in Michigan, is planning to launch them in that marketplace by summer. What makes the refillable glass preroll launch all the more timely is that profits from sales will be funneled toward the company’s charitable foundation, Battle Brothers.
It is through Battle Brothers that Buckley and his team have secured approval to launch a study on the use of medical cannabis to help combat PTSD in veterans. Better yet: Battle Brothers will be allowed to use Helmand Valley Growers Co.’s own cannabis—rather than obtaining plant material through the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the University of Mississippi.
The research is meant to determine if cannabis will prove beneficial in “reducing symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant PTSD,” according to a recent press release.
That’s the ultimate goal. Launching a new product in a thrilling marketplace like California is one thing; serving veterans with specific and targeted medical research is quite another.
The sense of tribute and unity that Buckley saw in Helmand Valley—the province—is what he has brought to his work after the military.
“I really wanted to develop something to help out veterans, kind of a mind-body-spirit plan,” he says. “So, I came up with a three-tier approach for Battle Brothers of the personal, the medical and the economic.”
Battle Brothers provides a lot of outreach to the veteran community, but it’s within that medical tier that Buckley is now seeing Helmand Valley Growers Co. find a more resonant niche in the cannabis industry.
“What I’ve noticed in cannabis is everyone wants to help each other out—as long as you’re a good actor,” he says. “The people who are in this just for the money or whatever, they kind of get ostracized. But there are so many benevolent people in the whole entire space. It’s just amazing.”