Lieutenant Colonel Todd Clark, 1972-2013
Deployed with Will in Afghanistan.
“Rest Easy, Sir, and Climb to Glory”
Connecting with veterans is one of the reasons being in the cannabis industry is so fulfilling. Not only do we often encounter veterans who tell us about how cannabis has positively affected their lives, but we also encounter many on their own cannabis journey.
We thanked/chatted/cried with our very own Embarc Tahoe-based Will Sorenson. Former Army specialist turned Guide, Will gave us the scoop on the real reason he joined the military, why he works in cannabis. and how he’s able to utilize his own experiences to help others find the cannabis relief they’re seeking.
And for the love of Gary Sinese, don’t say ‘Happy Memorial Day’.
A: How long have you worked in the cannabis space?
W: I’ve been in and out of it for about six years, on both sides of the industry. Prior to this I was working in Oregon, right after I got out of the military.
A: And your military experience is the whole reason we’re chatting today so can you tell me a little bit about your time in the service?
W: I was a specialist in the Army. I served four years-I did a tour in South Korea and another tour to Afghanistan. Predominantly, I was with the Second Infantry Division and the 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, NY. I deployed with them to Afghanistan. 10th Mountain Division was definitely the most storied unit I was with, for sure.
A: Storied in what way?
W: Most deployed unit in Army history and has the most combat deployments. We were formed during WWII and some of the first members and trainers were Swiss alpine skiers. During WWII, the 10th Mountain Division spent a lot of time in extreme cold weather, fighting the Germans in the Swiss Alps. They’re considered top-tier soldiers, and I was definitely honored to be a part of it.
A: That’s truly incredible. So, a few months back we spoke briefly about your time in South Korea and you lit up. What about being deployed did you like?
W: The main thing I enjoy overall with the military is being able to be a part of someone else’s culture. You get to see how they live their everyday lives and I feel like every time you learn about another culture you’re learning more about yourself.
Especially in South Korea because the war with them is so recent, The Korean War, and you see remnants of that war everywhere. You see bunkers that were used. You see all these things that are a clear reminder of what war is like and still they live every day in a very peaceful way, in my opinion.
They don’t waste time with the tiny things we all get stressed about in life. There’s so much more happiness, and they uplift each other a lot more than we do here. To see that meant a lot to me. Especially because wanting to help people was the main reason I joined the military. So witnessing a whole culture lifting each other up and helping each other-it was awesome.
A: I was not prepared for that answer. Whew. I think some dust got in my eye.
W: It’s the same reason I’m in the cannabis industry: I’ve just always wanted to help people. Cannabis gives me that opportunity to help people again, just in a non-violent way. And I have that experience in the military that gives me my knowledge base here, so when people come in with PTSD or chronic pain I can give them the relief they’re looking for. The traumas may be different, but a lot of the time the symptoms are the same and I know where to point them.
A: Your frame of reference is a little different than your average budtender.
W: And it has to be that way, in my opinion. With the way the industry is growing, it’s a shame on me if I don’t put the effort in to give people the right information. Especially medicinally, if I can make somebody’s day better by giving them something that’s going to take away their chronic pain or anxiety, then I’m going to do that a hundred times a day, everyday.
A: Embarc sure is lucky to have you.
W: I feel lucky to be here.
A: Can you give me a few personal product recommendations? What do YOU use?
W: When it comes to purely smoking for enjoyment, I’m a concentrate connoisseur. I love live resin and rosin, and my favorite strain is Forbidden Fruit or any cross of that.
On the medicinal side I use it all: tinctures, topicals, transdermals. I need that full range, I have a lot of joint, back and neck pain and those things help quite a bit-especially products with THCa. My favorite topical right now is Coconut Love made by High, Gorgeous because it has that higher ratio of THCa, which does so much more for local pain relief than any other cannabinoid. I love Chemistry Moods in Pink for that same reason.
A: Thank you so much for your recommendations! And thank you for taking the time to talk with me. We appreciate your service, insight and experiences so much.
Catch Will at Embarc Tahoe most days, that is, of course, unless he’s out hiking with his two dogs.