Navy veteran opens cannabis bar in Virginia for recreation and mental health use


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Mental Health Awareness Day is Oct. 10, and a first-of-its-kind business in Virginia said it is helping people combat their issues with its products.

Queen’s Green Apothecary is Virginia’s first “cannabar” — an “Alice in Wonderland”-themed smoke shop filled with CBD products in Virginia Beach.

Members can sit and smoke their pot with friends, and anyone can shop for edibles and other products.

Co-owner Nick Rocha, a retired U.S. Navy sailor, opened it after discovering the plant’s power.

“My oldest daughter was having a lot of mental health issues, and no matter what we worked with doctors to find — you know, pharmaceutical-wise, nothing was working,” he told NewsNation affiliate WAVY.

A psychiatrist friend of his suggested they try cannabis.

“And once we tried, I — oh my gosh — it started working for her like right there,” Rocha said.

Cannabis can treat anxiety; that’s why Boogie, a customer at the cannabar, said he uses the products.

“It worked. It definitely — it worked,” he said.

Cannabis is also used for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. WAVY also spoke through the Veterans Administration with a customer who is 90% disabled.

“It takes my pain away. It takes my depression away. It takes my PTSD away,” the customer said.

Marijuana research is mixed, however, with some suggesting cannabis can cause mental health problems. More studies are needed, as the plant is complex, containing more than 400 chemicals. In general, you can’t prove it is strictly helpful or harmful.

As far as Rocha is concerned, it’s doing a lot of good for many people.

“I never have any bar fights, everybody walks out of here happy, and there’s never any broken beer bottles in the parking lot, so that’s a win-win,” he said.

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