Unity 2019 The Price of Being a Medical Cannabis Patient

March 18-20, 2019


Learn more about our speakers or Unity 2019 in our Program Guide.

The Experience of Being a Medical Cannabis Patient in the US 

Despite increasing medical cannabis programs across the country, patients still face significant barriers to access. This panel will explore the financial and social hurdles that medical cannabis patients often have to undergo in order to become a legal medical cannabis patient. Topics will include the high cost of medicine, parental rights, pediatric patient issues, housing rights, social injustice, and much more.

  • Speaker: William Dolphin, Americans for Safe Access
  • Speaker: Janie Maedler, Rylie’s Sunshin
  • Speaker: Ellen Smith, U.S. Pain Foundation
  • Speaker: Grace Macalino, PhD, Marimac Insight
  • Moderator: Debbie Churgai, Americans for Safe Access


What in the World is Happening? Medical Cannabis, CBD, and Hemp Global Markets 

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization moved forward with recommendations to reschedule cannabis. While over 30 countries now have medical cannabis laws, CBD and hemp legalization differs from country to country. This panel will explore the barriers that still exist, how these various regulations and laws impact patients globally, and how changes at the international level will affect patients in the U.S.

  • Speaker: Nic Easley, 3C Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting
  • Speaker: Dr. Pavel Kubu, International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute
  • Speaker: Tomas Sadelik, International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute
  • Speaker: Michael Krawitz, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access
  • Moderator: Steph Sherer, Americans for Safe Access


CBD, Medical Cannabis, Hemp Foods, and Adult Use: What Does It All Mean for Patients and Medical Professionals? 

Patients and medical professionals in the U.S. now have so many options when it comes to using cannabinoid medicine. However, there is a lot of misinformation about the legality of these products as well as barriers to access for many individuals in these various markets. We know that the solution to this is to change federal law once and for all. This panel will explore how these issues can play out and what it will mean for patients.

  • Speaker: Eric Steenstra, Vote Hemp
  • Speaker: Michael McGuffin, American Herbal Products Association
  • Speaker: Dr. Olga Obie, University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Speaker: David Mangone, Americans for Safe Access
  • Speaker: Dr. Carla Rossotti, VarMed Management
  • Speaker: Heather Despres, Americans for Safe Access
  • Moderator: Don Duncan, BHC Consulting, LLC


Advocacy in the Courts: Protecting Patients’ Rights  

Since our first legal fight in 2005 to force changes in policy at the California Highway Patrol, who were confiscating medical cannabis from  

legal patients during routine traffic stops, patients have been finding that we often must rely on the courts to win important changes when we cannot get legislation to move forward. This panel will explore current legal and judicial issues that patients are facing due to their status as medical cannabis patients or their desire to access medical cannabis. The panel will talk about the processes for ensuring patient rights, including legislation, regulation, and ultimately, litigation.

  • Speaker: Bridget Hill-Zayat, Hoban Law Group
  • Speaker: Mary Shapiro, Evoke Law
  • Speaker: Jose Belen, Veterans Cannabis Coalition
  • Moderator: David Mangone, Americans for Safe Acces