Our Team

Doug Distaso-Executive Director

Doug Distaso became the Executive Director of the Veterans Cannabis Project in 2019. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and went on to serve more than 21 years in the U.S. Air Force. From 2000-2015, Doug commanded joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as a primary legislative affairs lead for two USSOCOM commanders. This operational focus allowed successes in counter-terrorism hotspots from Europe to the Pacific. During his military service, Doug was in a plane accident that left him with a broken body and traumatic brain injury. After coping with the demands of military life in the field and at the Pentagon and suffering from sustained chronic pain and PTSD, he left the military addicted to pain killers. With the help of his wife, Whitney, Doug was able to eliminate the opiates and other pain killers that were damaging his relationships and rely instead upon the medical benefits of cannabis to safely manage his chronic pain and PTSD. Having experienced the plight that millions of veterans face daily in the United States, Doug has dedicated his post-military life to ensuring a better future for veterans in our country. Within his role as Veterans Cannabis Project Executive Director, he works every day to increase veterans access to safe medical cannabis. Doug also serves as the Vice President of Legislative Affairs for Security, Defense, and Space at Navigators Global, a government relations, strategic communications, and issues management firm located in Washington, DC. In his spare time, Doug is dedicated to helping veterans through art therapy.

Nick Etten-Founder & Chairman

Nick Etten is the Founder and Chairman of the Veterans Cannabis Project and a principal in Assero Group Holdings. Previous positions include Vice President of Global Business Development for FreightWatch International (UTC), Director of Corporate Development for Triple Canopy (Constellis) and investment professional at Trident Capital. Earlier in his career, Nick was an investment banker and served on active duty as a US Navy SEAL officer. He earned an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a BS in political science from the United States Naval Academy. Nick lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two young sons.

James Brobyn

James Brobyn is the CEO & Founder of CauseEngine. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Travis Manion Foundation, and served in combat as a USMC Infantry officer. James is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, and earned a Masters in Nonprofit/NGO Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the CEO of Rozbed Holdings, a real estate holding company focused on the U.S medical cannabis market and the interim CEO of Verde, a Canadian medical cannabis manufacturing company. James resides in Wilmington, Delaware with his daughter and girlfriend.

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