By Crystal Harrell

Located in Desert Hot Springs, VetsLeaf is a veteran-owned cannabis manufacturer and distributor established in 2016 when California voters approved Proposition 64, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, legalizing recreational cannabis. VetsLeaf broke ground in 2017, and have since then made an effort to hire veterans to their growing team.

Founder and Marine Tony Rivera decided to begin VetsLeaf Inc. the same day Proposition 64 was approved the goal of helping veterans access safe, quality-tested, legal cannabis. He believed that cannabis could be a welcomed solution for those suffering with ailments like Traumatic Brain Injury, Post- Traumatic Stress, substance abuse, and thoughts of suicide.

Tony succumbed to an undiagnosed medical condition in early 2018. His legacy in the foundation of VetsLeaf is forever immortalized in the company’s logo, as his initials are incorporated in the design alongside two of his Marine brothers, Billy Rose, who took his own life, and Jon Weston who passed from cancer.


The team behind VetsLeaf, Inc. is continuing Rivera’s vision, dedicated to maintaining a state-of-the-art facility that produces the cleanest, safest, and highest quality cannabis pre-roll, CBD and THC concentrates and infused products.

Sandra Silva-Tello is the Chief Executive Officer of VetsLeaf, a former Marine, and Social Worker. Sandra served with Tony Rivera and their lifelong friendship turned into the business partnership that launched VetsLeaf.

Joy Craig serves as the Community Outreach Officer. She is a retired Marine Corps, Mustang Officer and cannabis advocate working with veterans and cannabis professionals to see that Tony Rivera’s final wishes are fulfilled.

“VetsLeaf has deep roots in the Coachella Valley. The four Marines who founded the company served together at the Marine Corps Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms and it’s the strong veterans community throughout the valley that makes us feel welcome and at home,” stated Craig.

On the Logistics side of VetsLeaf, the skilled team of professionals pride themselves on having the knowledge and tools to create products like the highest quality extractions, rosin pressing, topicals, vape cartridge filling, and the ability to produce perfectly burning, expertly packed pre-rolls en masse.

The VetsLeaf team packages and delivers products for external vendors throughout California. The distributor also offers the opportunity for other brands to launch their products through white labeling services under the VetsLeaf license.

“VetsLeaf is currently rolling out a line of some of the highest quality pre-rolls in the California market. Our premium flower will be available in jars in the coming months throughout Coachella Valley dispensaries,” said Craig.

VetsLeaf is currently highlighting their upcoming Veteran’s Compassionate Care Program scheduled to come into effect later this year. Through this free donation program, local area veterans with a medicinal cannabis referral will receive a voucher for a monthly donation of  a premium cannabis flower that will offset the high cost of the medicine.

“What separates VetsLeaf from other cannabis companies is our commitment to seeing all persons—veterans, first responders, and civilians—get safe, legal access to compliant, tested, trustworthy products. That is what separates us from cannabis companies who are profit, not purpose, driven,” explained Craig.

VetsLeaf grows marijuana for both recreational and medical use, and while they do plan to hire as many vets as possible at their facility, their clientele does not consist solely of veterans, but the general public as well. VetsLeaf’s goal is to cultivate superior cannabis products, while simultaneously advocating for veterans to have safe access to the medicine of their choice.

For more information about VetsLeaf and the other services offered, visit their official website at, and on social media at their Twitter and Facebook pages.