Veterans Ananda Inc.
Sarah Stenuf Interview

Quote:
 

   “I believes that it is our social responsibility to help one another in our community. And if we
could all come to that recognition and help one another, then we can create an evolution.”
said
Stenuf.


   I wanted to start this month’s Twenty22Many Veteran Chronicle’s with a big thank you to all of
you who have served our beloved country. You all are loved, special and important.


   Twenty22Many and Hightimes also want to thank you for taking the time to follow the Veteran
Chronicles. A project for and about hard working and life saving Veteran/Cannabis activists.


   It’s an incredible honor to provide you our next Veteran Chronicle story from beautiful up state
New York. I can’t begin to tell you what an honor it is to bring you Army (Afghanistan) Veteran
Sarah Stenuff. An Apache Chief out of Fort Drum.


   Sarah is the founder of Veterans Ananda and Ananda Farms. I had the honor to do some
activism with Sarah many different occasions in Washington D.C. through Americans for Safe
Access going back to 2017. I have been watching her incredible efforts in awe for nearly five
year. The things she has accomplished and her relentless work ethic through Veterans Ananda is
short of miraculous.


   Sarah has spent a lot her time educating veterans and others like her and has since made it her
life's mission is to educate others about veteran post-service issues and to provide help to other
veterans. Sarah founded Veteran’s Ananda Inc. a, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that
provides free care, support and rehabilitation to veterans, first responders and their families,
through traditional and non-traditional treatments and therapies.


   Veteran's Ananda believes post traumatic growth is possible through an individualized approach
to care....Connecting with ones self. Therefore, one of their main focuses is agro-cognitive
therapies. Because as Sarah puts it “to be one with nature, is to be one with yourself”
("Ananda").


   At Veteran's Ananda homestead and retreat, veterans stay om the farm and are provided access
to programs, services, and resources at the “Veteran Village" that consists of tiny homes made
by high school students. A wonderful program all the way around for veterans.


   Without further ado let’s dive into the Brain of Sarah Senauf’s for the Q&A.

 

1. Do you believe we will see the end of Cannabis Prohibition in our lifetime?
 

A: Yes, absolutely. We are near the end of cannabis prohibition in the U.S.
However, due to state’s rights, Federal cannabis legalization may not help consumers in
states that prohibit cannabis in some form unless those states enact their own
legalization measures.

 

2. How can Veterans in New York get involved and tour Veterans Ananda?
 

A: Veteran’s Ananda Inc is a 501(c )(3) non-profit organization. Veterans, first
responders, and their families are always welcome to contact Veteran’s Ananda Inc. via
phone, email, or by stopping by the farm. We have tiny homes, built by high school
students, that make up our “Veteran’s Village” at Veteran’s Ananda. At the “Veteran’s
Village”, veterans, first responders, and their family obtain free support, care, and
rehabilitation that they deserve. VeteransAnanda.org
The community is always welcome to come visit Ananda Farms. The DEA licensed
hemp cultivar I own in upstate, NY. Come end of fall we will be starting hemp tours and
have our retail store open that sells our hemp products (AnandaFarmsNY.com). October
1-15 we will be having our u-pick (PYO) lots open. We are the first ever u-pick hemp
farm in NY and the only one approved in the state. During the u-pick, people can come
and pick out their own hemp by the whole plant or by the branch, to bring home. Similar
concept to that of u-pick pumpkins, berries, apples, just with hemp.

 

3. How long after you left the Army did you recognize Cannabis was your personal
savior?

 

A: After being in and out of dual diagnosis programs, treatment facilities, and
jails for almost 2 years; I then tried cannabis. I was medically retired from the Army as
an Apache Crew Chief in 2013. I on over 16 medications. A plethora of pills making my
social and psychological issues worse. After 2 failed suicide attempts, one leaving me in
Acoma for 2 weeks with my liver and kidney failing...I finally said enough. I was tired
of feeling worthless, useless, hopeless, like a burden. So, I tried cannabis. At first, I
thought I was filling in another void, just taking another drug. But it wasn’t. It ended up
changing my life completely. For the better.

 

4. What role have you played in New York’s legalization? Both Medical Cannabis and
Retail?

 

A: I have spoken at several private and public assembly meetings regarding
hemp as well as cannabis for both medical and recreational use. I am an active activist,
small business owner, and farmer that is constantly attending meetings and events to
help push the much-needed education and awareness. Locally, I just spoke at a town
Zoning/Planning meeting. The town wanted to “opt out” of having marijuana
dispensaries and social lounges in the town. However, after speaking with committee
members and talking at the local meeting, the town decided not to “opt-out.” As I
always say, Think Global, Act Local.

 

5. I have been blessed my whole life as an activist with amazing mentors to lead me the
right way. Who are your mentors?

 

A: I’m blessed to say I have a gorgeous network of amazing professional and
educated individuals who have helped guide me in my entrepreneur career. I’ve been honored to meet some truly incredible farmers, activists, veterans, and business owners
who have provided me with in-sight and help on certain things. Connections are
important and I love learning, so for me life is about constant mentoring...whether that’s
being mentored or mentoring other. As for mentors, it would take me forever to type out
who has influenced my life. Every time I meet someone, I try to learn a little bit from
them and hope they learn something from me.

 

6. What exactly are you now harvesting on your farm?
 

A: At Ananda Farms we like to experiment and grow a wide variety of strains.
The one that fills our 42 acres in fields is called Berry Blossom. It is open-pollinated
variety from Delhi, NY. It is a hybrid, indica dominate hemp variety. We are seeing
gorgeous test results from it, with incredibly high CBD percentages. The Berry Blossom
has beautiful purple bud with gorgeous vibrant green leaves. We let our girls go till just
after the first light frost of the season. This allows the tricomes to truly pop, making the
plant completely frosty. This is our window of opportunity to harvest the plant due to the
terpene profile hitting its prime and also time for when the cannabinoids are at their
peak, without being close to being hot (AKA above 0.03% THC).

 

7. You have accomplished something nearly no one else has in getting a license from
the DEA for your production and farming. How long did that process take?

 

A: Ananda Farms was one of the first DEA licensed hemp companies in NY
state, the first in Oswego County. When the application first opened, it was much
stricter. The application fees weren’t too expensive, but the paperwork, inspections,
amendments, etc. was very time consuming and tedious. Ananda Farms has grown
successfully under our DEA license for 3 years, staying compliant with all inspections,
reports, and samples. Due to our due diligence with maintain compliance as well as our
ability to provide the community with affordable and safe access; NY Dept of
Agriculture and Markets and NYS Department of Health, have granted us approval to be
NY’s first ever u-pick hemp farm.

 

8. Where do you see Veterans Ananda in 10 years?
 

A: I see Veteran’s Ananda expanding and scaling in our efforts. Especially
regarding our short duration high impact retreats and long-term post traumatic growth
programs. I see us expanding operations throughout the U.S., opening chapter
throughout the states, in both rural towns and major cities. I see use hiring more
veterans, providing more opportunities, and continuing to build on our pilot programs. I
see use successfully doing this by focusing on our mission, staying true to our vision,
and continuing to listen to the needs of our service members.

 

9. Are your products only sold in the state of New York. Where can said products be
found?

 

A: Ananda Farms, the for-profit subsidiary to Veteran’s Ananda, is a seed to
branded product, vertically intreated hemp company. We have a small retail front at our
farm in upstate, NY and we also sell our product on small store shelves at a few stores in
NY. People can purchase our products online at AnandaFarmsNY.com. Veterans and first
responders receive discounts on all of our products and 10% of all proceeds generated at
Ananda Farms are donated to Veteran’s Ananda Inc.

 

10. What’s is your most favorite strain of all time?
 

A: For me GG#4 is my all-time favorite strain. Gorilla Glue #4, although
classified as sativa-dominate strain, has s great balance of the indica properties that
always me the balance I need.

 

11. Why do believe you have been so successful with your efforts as an activist?
 

A: As an activist Ive taken initiative to get involved in politics and in the
community in order to truly make a change. By listen and truly hearing what people
have to say has helped me to stand out from others. Many people want to create change.
Sometimes it’s because they are fed up with something or because they want something
to be better. But not many people do take action or do something about it. For me, that’s
not an option. Ive learned to not wait for permission to make change. To not wait for
someone else to do it. For me it’s about creating realistic expectations. Exceeding
expectations and creating optimal results. And I do that by staying true to my mission
and vision and by staying focused on adding value to the community like I know how to
do. That’s best done, for me, by shutting up, listening, making a plan, then taking action.
Always being willing to adapt and overcome.

 

12. Please walk us through and tell our readers about your new “You Pick” program on
your farm.

 

A: Ananda Farms has been granted approval to be NY’s first ever u-pick or PYO
hemp farm. Our u-pick will be open from October 1-15th. . We will have close to 10,000
plants for people to choose from. All organically grown by Ananda Farms, a small
business, woman owned, veteran grown operation! This will be a family fun,
educational event where people can come and pick out their own hemp to take home!
People can pit a whole plant or a branch to cut, that will then be weighed and packaged
for safe/legal transportation. Along with our packaging, people will be sent home with
educational information (how to use the plant and what to make out of it), our sample
and testing reports, as well as a contract from us stating the intended uses of the plant.
We will have hemp tours and educational staff on hand to answer all questions. So,
whether you’re an individual who already knows what they want to do with the plant
and youre just looking to find affordable access to hemp or if your someone who has
never used hemp before and you’re looking for guidance; we are here for you! We will
also have our retail store open with various products and merchandise for sale.
Discounts will be given to veterans, first responders, seniors, and medical marijuana
patients. With 10% of proceeds being donated to Veteran’s Ananda Inc