In 2015, Lukas Gilkey and Lewis Hamer set out on a journey to be hometown heroes, by creating high quality plant products using hemp. From the heart of Austin, Texas, Lukas and Lewis opened a business, Hometown Hero; built a team; and launched an extraordinary line of hemp/ CBD infused products, keeping the healing of everyday heroes at the forefront of their mission: veterans.
Why Do Veterans Need More Opportunities For Access To Legal Cannabis?
Cannabis is legal in over half of the states in the United States. The industry is the fastest-growing and is creating more jobs than the manufacturing industry. Cannabis has made millions of dollars in every state that has legalized it in some form and even with all of this advancement, the federal government holds cannabis on the highest schedule of dangerous drugs: Schedule 1, keeping it prohibited.
This means that it is still hard for veterans to access it because the Office of Veteran Affairs (the VA) isn’t allowed to discuss cannabis-related treatments for their constituents. The Office of Veteran Affairs offers education opportunities and rehabilitation services and provides compensation payments for disabilities or death related to military service, home loan guarantees, pensions, burials, and healthcare that includes the services of nursing homes, clinics, and medical centers - but they cannot have a discussion related to cannabis as it relates to health care/health services.
There are groups that advocate for veterans and their access to cannabis, and there has been approved research focused on the benefits of cannabis for veterans specifically. Joining support for veterans, and their right to treat their health conditions with federally legal cannabis, is the brand Hometown Hero.
Hometown Hero's Commitment To Veterans
Hometown Hero crafts and ships legal hemp infused products made in Texas to all over the United States. They are a business dedicated to maintaining their commitment to excel in flavor and effect with each handcrafted product made, while giving back to the hometown heroes who inspire them. Hometown Hero’s team says:
“From the very beginning, the core principle that has guided us is the belief that true hometown heroes are all around us and they deserve our unwavering support. We made a profound commitment to give back to those who have dedicated themselves to protecting and serving their country, while also making sure they have access to safe hemp-derived goods."
Lukas Gilkey is a United States Coast Guard veteran, and he witnessed the challenges and struggles faced by his friends who served in different branches of the military. Those experiences made an impact on Lukas, inspiring him to take action.
Creating products is one way Hometown Hero takes action; another is giving back. They also stated that:
“Giving back to our country's hometown heroes is a core component of who we are and will always remain central to our mission. We've donated to many organizations helping Veterans: Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Operation Finally Home, and others.”
When asked if it is surreal for Lukas to have a business in cannabis as a veteran, Hometown Hero responded: “Surreal is an understatement. The entire company is invested in helping veterans. It will always be our core mission. As a third generation veteran, Lukas saw cannabis as an opportunity to help those who come back from service. Many of them report using cannabis to help relieve mental and physical stressors and show up. Also, we defend access to hemp-derived cannabinoids and don’t support freedom being threatened by proposed reform. Fun fact, one of the most surprising anecdotes Lukas shares is that his military assignment was with an anti-narcotics unit.”
Hometown Hero's Delta-8 THC And Delta-9 THC Cannabis Products
Hometown Hero offers a large range of cannabis products with some of their best sellers being Delta-9, Delta-8, HHC, and THC Blends. All Hometown Hero products are crafted in a GMP-certified facility, fully panel tested, and made with flower grown in Texas that is free from chemical pesticides and/or fertilizers.
Customers can shop with Hometown Hero online, and/or find a hemp/CBD dispensary nearby on their website that carries Hometown Hero products such as:
- Gummies which include Live Rosin Gummies called Absolutes, and microdosed gummies called Speakeasies.
- Baked Goods like Cereal Bites and Brownies
- Various Candy Types like Taffy, Sours, and Sour Belts all with various levels of potency for consumers of all kinds
- Flower: Delta 8 Flower and Moonrocks
- Tinctures: Singles and/or Trio Packs
- Pills and Capsules: Delta 8 Capsules and CBD blends (melatonin, caffeine, magnesium)
- Topicals: THC Roll-on
- Chocolates: Kava and THC, and Kava with Ashwagandha
Hometown Hero's Team Explains Cannabis And Hemp Benefits, How To "Mind Your Mind," And What First-Time Consumers Should Know
VERONICA CASTILLO: We know the what: hemp; we know the how: through various product offerings; but share with readers Hometown Hero’s “why”?
HOMETOWN HERO: Hometown Hero is committed to improving the way people feel so they can live fuller lives. We do this by giving people access to high-quality hemp-derived goods. One of our two founders; Lukas Gilkey, is a third generation veteran who saw firsthand how much veterans could benefit from plant-derived alternatives and he felt this was something that should be available to everyone. As such, he made a commitment to support veterans since the company’s inception even before the company was profitable.
“Mind your mind” is one of your company mottos; does that mean“mindfulness”?
“Mind Your Mind” is about listening to your inner voice. That voice that knows exactly what you need in order to prioritize yourself. Mind Your Mind is about self-care, and of course that will be different for everyone. For some it might mean slowing down their routine so they can appreciate the micro moments that make life better. For others it might mean making time to engage in their hobby like playing the guitar or painting. Cannabis helps you make peace with your pace and take comfort in the small pleasures when there is so much competing for their attention.
The Hometown Hero website talks a lot about being grounded and coming to self; do you all consider cannabis/hemp to be a holistic/ spiritual aid in a human's journey to self?
Absolutely. We hear countless stories from our customers about how our products have helped them improve their quality of life. We wholeheartedly believe that for some people it’s part of their identity. Our hemp product can help people tune inward to help recalibrate mind and body. Others report that it helps them tune off external stressors that interfere with their peace. We’d say all of this supports the very grounding effects cannabis can have on people.
Who is behind the wide range of products and the recipes?
Our farm is located in the wine country of Texas and our hemp is organically grown there. Our research and development team involves our grower, our on-site chemist, our producer, and our consumer experts to bring the highest quality formulations to market in novel forms.
How many of the products available are vegan?
All of our gummies are vegan, but this is an area we aspire to continue to grow in.
What are three things readers should know about Hometown Hero?
1. Our hemp is organically grown in Texas.
2. One of our core competencies is extracting and infusing Live Rosin in our products, which is a solventless hash oil that enables us to retain the aromas and flavors of the plant.
3. We started another brand this year, Orca, which uses cannabis for athletic performance and recovery.
What’s the recommended product for the first-time consumer who has found their way to the Hometown Hero website?
We recommend everyone indulging for the first time to start small. Our Live Rosin Canna Classic collection is a great place to start!
Visit the Hometown Hero website to view their products, place your order, and/or learn more about the ways hemp/CBD may help contribute to overall balance in the mind and body. You can find and follow them on @hometownheroatx on Instagram and @HometownHeroATX on Twitter/ X.
Veronica Castillo is known as the Traveling Cannabis Writer. Her body of work includes educational and informative insights on cannabis and various plant medicines, and she travels the country to provide insight on cannabis friendly travel. She is a collaborator, connector, content creator, and traveler that specialized in bringing to light the hidden gems in the plant space. Follow her journey: #travelingcannabiswriter.
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Featured image: The Hometown Hero team in Austin, Texas (C) Hometown Hero