Unity 2015 Wellness is Winning: Advancing Evidence Based Medical Marijuana Policy

March 27-31, 2015

Learn more about our speakers or Unity 2015 in our Program Guide.


We are Winning!

The medical cannabis movement has come a long way thanks to the diverse work of patients, advocates, researchers and medical professionals .  The opening panel will explore our progress and recent victories. 

  • Steph Sherer, ASA Director - How the Pieces Are Fitting Together
  • Larry Bedard, MD - CMA and Changing Transplant Policy 
  • Alice O’Leary Randall - Perspectives of a Pioneer
  • Steve Corn, PhD - Medical Marijuana: Establishing an Educational Resource for Healthcare Providers and Patients
  • Amanda Reiman, PhD. -  Evidence for Public Health Impacts of Medical Cannabis
  • Pavel Kabu, MD - International Medical Cannabis Patient Coalition


Progress and Problems in States

Revisions in state medical cannabis laws are intended to help patients but in some places can make access more difficult and diminish existing rights. This panel will discuss tension points in maintaining patients’ rights and how to keep new laws and regulations from rolling back those rights.

  • Moderator: Kristin Nevadal - Keeping Place for Sun-Grown
  • Martin Lee - CBD & Medical Marijuana 
  • Teri Robnett - Legalization & Medical
  • Kari Boiter, ASA - A Bitter Pill to Swallow: Why a Win in Washington State Could Come at the Expense of Patients


Unity 2015 Keynote Speaker - Ethan Russo, MD  “Current Controversies in Cannabis Therapeutics”


Congress, CARERS, and Cannabis

The 113th Congress (2013-2014) saw the greatest federal progress in medical marijuana reform with over a dozen bills introduced in the House and the adoption of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment into the Dept. of Justice budget. This session will briefly cover the progress that has already been made and will focus on information concerning all areas covered in the CARERS Act (S. 683), the comprehensive medical marijuana bill that was recently introduced in the US Senate. 

  • Moderator: Mike Liszewski, ASA Government Affairs Director
  • Rick Doblin, PhD - Opening up research
  • TJ Thompson - Veterans
  • John Hudak, PhD - Rescheduling
  • Rabbi Jeff Kahn - Responsible business practices
  • Beth & Patrick Collins - Family needs


Product Safety

Safe access for patients must include product safety regulations and practices. This panel will explore the current state of product safety laws and regulations as well as implications for patients and cannabis industries. 

  • Moderator: Michelle Sexton. ND -  Quality Control of Adult Use Cannabis in WA State: What's working and what is not- realistic approaches
  • Jahan Marcu, PhD - Standards for medical cannabis operations
  • Jeff Raber, PhD - Inhalation Studies as a Rational Basis for Cannabis Regulations
  • Tony Young, General Counsel for American Herbal Products Association


Overcoming Stigma

Most Americans support the medical use of cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation in principle, but there is still widespread stigma associated with using or providing cannabis. Stigma feeds pervasive discrimination, including issues related to employment, housing, parental rights, access to health care, and personal relationships. This panel explores the roots of anti-medical cannabis stigma and solutions for overcoming it on a personal and political level. 

  • Moderator: Don Duncan, ASA California Director
  • Sara Arnold, FLCA, Parenting, Pregnancy, and Child Protective Services
  • Yamileth Bolanes, Organ transplants
  • Stacia Cosner, SSDP, Students and Stereotypes


Harmonizing Regulatory Schemes from Legalization, Pharmaceuticalization, Herbal Medicine & Industrial Hemp 

Medical cannabis is moving into a phase of intense regulation, at the same time as other sectors of cannabis are exploring regulatory schemes that have varying requirements. This panel will explore regulatory best practices from different sectors, and discuss how to ensure that these schemes are mutually supportive.

  • Moderator: Steph Sherer-Medical Cannabis 
  • Ethan Russo, PhD - Pharmaceutical Development of Cannabis
  • Michael McGuffin- Herbal Medicine
  • Eric Steensta - Industrial hemp
  • Bill Piper - Legalization