When West Point graduate and former Captain Socrates Rosenfeld completed his military career in 2011, he had trouble reintroducing himself back into civilian life. Although never officially diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by doctors, he was finding it difficult to relate to others, including reconnecting to loved ones.
“Anybody going through transition, it’s a time of change and growth, and it’s challenging for a reason,” said the former Apache helicopter pilot who spent time in Baghdad in 2009.
For military personnel returning home after combat, these changes include everything from moving one’s family to discovering an entirely new career. The latter was the case for Rosenfeld who, “from the time I was 18 years old, I had identified as a military guy. I really had no idea what to do with my life after.”
This time period is when cannabis not only vastly improved Rosenfeld’s day-to-day life, but also served as the catalyst for his next career, which would include helping thousands of others — both military and civilian — to lead better and more fulfilling lives.
The terrifying impact of PTSD on Americans
According to Wounded Warrior Homes, more than 540,000 Iraq War veterans returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder, which equals 1 in 5 soldiers.
The disorder also impacts the daily lives of American civilians as well.
PTSD United believes that 70 percent of U.S. adults “have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives.” Twenty percent eventually develop PTSD, which is equal to approximately 44.7 million people.
The financial ramifications are staggering as well. Some estimates indicate the disorder costs society more than $42.3 billion annually due to medical treatments, misdiagnosis and addictive prescription drugs.
One way to lower these costs significantly is by leveraging the healing power, access and affordability of cannabis.
The healing powers of cannabis
Rosenfeld knows firsthand cannabis’ ability to assist people of all walks of life.
“Cannabis was the vehicle through which I was able to achieve balance and homeostasis,” Rosenfeld said with passion in his voice. “It was such a medicinal benefit for me that I knew I wanted to commit my life to spreading the word and providing access to this medicine for others.”
The former Army Ranger was inspired and wanted to do something for his military brothers and sisters.
“I can’t tell you the countless number of times I was approached by other military veterans who came up to me and said that cannabis was the only thing that helped them.”
Rosenfeld wanted to help, but was troubled by fellow veterans unaware of where to go to find cannabis, which products to buy, how to get access to it or even if they could attain access.
“They didn’t really know what they were putting into their bodies,” Rosenfeld continued. “Sometimes it would provide the results they were looking for, but at other times it really didn’t, and I found myself experiencing similar challenges.”
The endless conversation with veterans struggling to readjust to civilian life was Rosenfeld’s impetus for launching his cannabis-industry-changing company IHeartJane.
How IHeartJane helps veterans, civilians and local dispensaries thrive
After graduating from MIT, Rosenfeld came to Silicon Valley where his day job enabled him to study fast-growth technology companies such as Uber and Grubhub — companies that would inspire his own.
It was also his introduction to California cannabis. “There were thousands of different products that smelled differently and tasted differently and made me feel differently.”
The experience inspired him to make the healing powers of cannabis readily available to veterans and civilians alike. In 2017, Rosenfeld launched IHeartJane.
IHeartJane is the first end-to-end online cannabis marketplace where consumers can cut through the clutter to discover, locate, order and easily pick up the products that best serve their unique needs.
The platform enables consumers to easily browse products in real time and filter by price, proximity and popularity with the same type of sophistication and security that popular online marketplaces such as Amazon provide.
It’s also perfect for ordering just the right product as you arrive in states where cannabis is legalized.
“You could be in New York or Wyoming and be planning a trip to San Jose or Los Angeles,” Rosenfeld said. “As soon as you have landed you could get on IHeartJane, peruse some live menus, search for whatever product or brand you’re looking for, reserve it for a time and then have it waiting for you so that when you’re en route to your hotel you can bypass the line and pick it up. You’re in and out. Pretty cool.”
The company is also a boon for local dispensaries because they benefit from reaching thousands of new potential customers through the IHeartJane website, which provides transparency into the types of products customers are searching for and buying.
This critical information enables mom-and-pop shops — the backbone of the cannabis industry — the ability to provide a better shopping experience, which includes ensuring the products customers want are stocked on the shelves at all times.
Ultimately, whether it’s military veterans that need a helping hand readjusting to society or civilians overcoming their own form of PTSD, IHeartJane is right alongside them to provide safe and secure access to the plant capable of transforming lives for the better.