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Former Marine opens hemp businesses in Tampa to help vets with mental illnesses

Veronica Brezina

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Zack Zindler and his Native Ceuticals-brand products. All photos provided.

Former Marine Zack Zindler knows first-hand what it’s like to live with a mental illness as millions of people do, and that’s why he has created a brand geared toward fellow vets. 

Earlier this year, Zindler launched Native Ceuticals Tampa, offering customized hemp products including CBD, CBG and CBN. 

“The reason I’m so passionate about this is that I’ve experienced health issues doctors can diagnose, but treatment isn’t personalized. I started using hemp-based products and came across this opportunity,” said Zindler, who served four years as an E-4 Corporal. 

He hopes to get his products in front of former and active-duty troops who are suffering from psychological and physiological stress.

Hemp comes from the same species of plant as cannabis, but it contains very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Research has shown that it can help people manage certain illnesses. 

Zack Zindler’s product line. 

Zindler is working with North Carolina-based Native Ceuticals, which produces gummies, topicals, oils, vapes and even CBD-infused coffee beans and products for pets. Zindler describes himself as an affiliate of the business, distributing under the same umbrella. 

To reach former members of the military, Native Ceuticals Tampa has applied for its Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) certification from the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Zindler stressed the time to connect with veterans is more important now than ever before. 

“Can you imagine coming home to a Covid-19 pandemic? And then you have the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan? It’s a similar reaction to when troops were pulled out of Vietnam. My goal right now is to reach out to veterans across Tampa Bay,” he said, adding how the Veterans Crisis Line has reported a sharp uptick in calls since mid-August. 

Because Native Ceuticals Tampa provides “seed-to-shelf” control and product customization, it can create individualized hemp products, some of which can contain zero traces of THC.

Zindler in his booth at a farmers’ market. 

Zindler doesn’t have a physical storefront, but people can find him dancing in front of his booth at farmers’ markets throughout Tampa Bay. 

Sunday (Sept. 12) he’ll be at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, and he will make his fourth appearance at the Tampa Wellness Weekend Market in Brandon Sept. 18.

Zindler also ships and sells his products online

Zindler said he plans to speak with the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital on potential partnerships, so his products could be more easily accessible to veterans. 

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