Okla. veteran plans to start legal cannabis farm to help other vets

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BRYAN COUNTY, Okla. (KXII) -- Now that it's legal in Oklahoma, a man plans to start a cannabis farm for medicinal purposes.

James Pearson defines himself as first a farmer, then a veteran.

"To be 100 percent honest, I saw opioid abuse in the military," Pearson said.

That's what inspired him to make a change. He served as a drug task force investigator in the Army.

"And I think if cannabis was a better option for them, we wouldn't have the opioid epidemic we have now," Pearson said

He plans on growing cannabis for medicinal purposes in an indoor facility in Bryan County, Oklahoma. He didn't want to reveal a more specific location for his safety.

He will use a field in the back of the farm to grow hemp for things like paper and insulation.

Pearson hopes his farm will erase the stereotype of marijuana.

"So I really think cannabis can come into play and help alleviate some of that, and get us a little bit away from the opioid epidemic we're facing now," he said.

He said he'll grow as much as the government will allow.

But he'll have to wait until the legislature comes up with protocols for the law, and his application for a license is approved.

Pearson is hopeful to get up and running soon.

He will not only give veterans a new way to deal with PTSD and other injuries, but wants to help them with a job too.

"I would love to hire nothing but veterans. Somebody who wants to have a purpose in life and a passion," Pearson said.

He said it will be at least sometime late September until the first seed is in the ground.