A wellness centre promoting medical marijuana used to help veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder opened in Edmonton Saturday.

Marijuana for Trauma has 12 Canadian locations, but this is the first one to open in western Canada.

They use legal, medical cannabis to treat everything from sleeping disorders and anxiety, to crohn’s disease and chronic pain.

“Medical cannabis users are not using it to get high,” Riley McGee, Director of Operations for Western Canada said. “We literally feel normal when we use our cannabis. When we don't have cannabis, we have high anxiety, we're paranoid, we're anxious.”

Marijuana for trauma doesn't provide weed to clients directly.

“We get you legally prescribed by a doctor based on your diagnosis,” McGee said. “Then we connect you with health Canada approved licensed producers, we register you with them, and then you go home, and you order your product through the mail, and it comes Canada Post or Purolator directly to your door.”

This office serves as a clinic during the week and a safe space for peer support on evenings and weekends. For veterans, it's free.

“The suicide has surpassed the entire death toll in Afghanistan … That should be alarming,” Co-founder Fabian Henry said. “And if Cannabis can slow it down, then we should get support on that.”

In some cases, Henry has covered costs out of pocket. As a vet himself, he says the treatment is priceless.

“The cannabis is literally a Band-Aid solution and it's treating the symptoms of PTSD – it's not treating the actual injury. There's still a bunch of work that has to be done there.”

With files from Jeremy Thompson