Cannabis millionaire sponsors IDF unit for disabled adolescents

The founder of 'Advanced Nutrients' known as Big Mike donated $100,000 to 'adopt' an IDF unit for Disabled soldiers.

 Special in Uniform and Big Mike (photo credit: SPECIAL IN UNIFORM)
Special in Uniform and Big Mike
(photo credit: SPECIAL IN UNIFORM)

"Big Mike," an entrepreneur who built his fortune through developing the cannabis-based company Advanced Nutrients, sponsored the Special In Uniform group that integrates disabled adolescents into the IDF.

The SIU group self-identifies as "a Jewish National Fund-USA program that integrates young adults with disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and, in turn, into Israeli society. Its core belief is that everyone belongs and has the right to reach his or her full potential." The group offers the opportunity for people to "adopt" one of their soldiers for $5000, or a unit for $100,000, to help fund their specialist training.

SIU offers a two-year volunteer program that provides the young people with the necessary experience to then be placed on military bases. 

Adi, from Holon, is one of the new SIU graduates. Adi is a wheelchair user and is one of eight people with Cerebral Palsy to join the group. The IDF made the necessary accessibility adjustments to empower Adi's contribution to the IDF. Her mom shared “When our family learned about Special in Uniform from Herzfeld, we understood that this was a singular opportunity for Adi to realize her dream and make a significant contribution to the State of Israel in a strong, supportive environment.”

The program aims to instill confidence in the young people involved and give them one-to-one training to better prepare them for the challenges involved in the IDF. It is unclear if the program provides training for the IDF on how to better adapt todisabled soldiers.

 Big Mike and Special in Uniform 2023 (credit: SPECIAL IN UNIFORM) Big Mike and Special in Uniform 2023 (credit: SPECIAL IN UNIFORM)

Director of the Special in Uniform branch in Ered Army Base Colonel Rami Hassan reflected on the contributions that these young people can offer, stating “Special in Uniform soldiers serve our country with love, faith, and commitment. I observe, every day, how military service enhances their characters and personal growth, and how they, in turn, contribute their all to the IDF. They’re amazing, and I never cease to be awed that together, we’ve created an inclusive military with hallmarks of values and ethics.”

Big Mike was there to celebrate with the soldiers and their families in a ceremony where they received their dog tags.

The Director of SIU expressed “The Advanced Nutrients inductees take SIU to a new level, proving that the army is now able to absorb soldiers in wheelchairs, which is truly a historic accomplishment,” says Hassan. “In the past, adolescents with special needs received automatic exemptions from military service, but now the IDF has learned to incorporate them into its multilayer system which empowers not only the soldiers to give and contribute to society, but also enables the country to benefit from their skills.”

About Advanced Nutrients

Advanced Nutrients is a company that revolutionized the cannabis industry in 1999. The company studied the medical properties of Cannabis and created products to promote the better health of people in the 107 countries they serve.

The company annually donates $527,000 to charities and organizations.

Advanced Nutrients has a strategic partnership with the Haifa Group; a globally leading supplier of cannabis-based health products. The CEO of the Haifa Group, Motti Levine, introduced Big Mike to the SIU movement - which the millionaire now sponsors.