CMEs Approved for Medical Cannabis Conference on Sept. 2 at UCLA

Continuing Medical Education credits for California physicians up to 6.75 hours have been approved for the first-ever joint medical conference from the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and The ReLeaf Institute, to be held at UCLA’s Neuroscience Research Building (NRB), 635 Charles E. Young Drive South in Los Angeles on Saturday, September 2.

The conference curriculum is aimed at physicians as well as medical students, nurses, caregivers, the cannabis industry and the general public, with a sliding ticket scale for different classes of attendees. Attendees can join in person, or virtually. Sponsorship packages are also available.

Speakers include MDs with expertise in treating patients with cannabis medicines for a variety of ailments, and some of the “novel” cannabinoids just now being studied. Afternoon sessions will address political issues, with presentations and a roundtable discussion featuring representatives from the California Department of Cannabis Control, the California Medical Board, and the LA County Department of Cannabis Regulations, speaking on the Importance of Social Equity in the Licensed Cannabis Market.

After the presentations, a networking & sponsorship booth exhibition will be held, followed by a happy hour at the SLS Hotel hosted by MedinaCBD.

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Conference Agenda

9:00 am
Genester Wilson-King, MD: Cannabis and Endometriosis: It Should be a Treatment Option Now

10:00 am
Patricia Frye, MD: Exploring the Potential Benefits of Cannabis in Autism Spectrum Disorders

11:00 am
Bonni Goldstein, MD: Clinical Effects of Two Important Cannabinoids: CBDV and CBG

12:00 pm
Tim Fong, MD: 2023 Updates to Management of Cannabis Use Disorder

—- 12:30 PM BREAK for LUNCH —-
Box lunch will be provided.

1:15 pm
Sherry Yafai, MD: Dementia and Palliative Care: Where and how can Cannabis be used?

2:15 pm
Jacqueline Campion, Deputy Director, Policy & Research at California Department of Cannabis Control

2:45 pm
Reji Varghese, MBC, Interim Executive Director at Medical Board of California

3:15 pm
Dr. Imani Brown, LA County Department of Cannabis Regulations: The Importance of Social Equity in the Licensed Cannabis Market

3:45 pm
Roundtable discussion: Department of Cannabis Control, Medical Board of California, LA County Department of Cannabis Regulations

—- 15 Minute Break —-

4:30 pm
SCC Closing Remarks – Stephen Robinson, MD, MPH

5:00 pm close
Networking & Sponsorship Booth Exhibition

6:00 – 8:00 pm
Happy Hour at SLS Hotel hosted by MedinaCBD

No cannabis products allowed on site that include flower, vaporizers, etc. All products that will be displayed must be previously approved. UCLA is a non-smoking campus.


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Dr. Imani Brown is an urban policy and planning professional with more than 25 years’ experience in the areas of public policy, sustainable urban land use, government relations, and small business development. She currently is the Social Equity Program Director for the Department of Cannabis Regulation for the City of Los Angeles. Her programs’ focus is Business, Licensing, Compliance and Technical Assistance, Grants, Pro Bono & Low Bono Legal Services and equity centered policy reform. Dr. Brown was formerly the Executive Director of External Partnerships of Government & Civic Engagement at USC, where she assisted in developing the Community Benefits Agreement for University Village, a multi-billion dollar economic development project. She served as Chief Deputy of Small Business, Transportation and Housing for the late Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald of the 37th Congressional District, where she created small business incubators and opportunities for communities impacted by the Alameda Corridor Project. Dr. Brown is an alumna of the University of Maryland and Cornell University. She earned her doctorate degree in 2009 from the University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy.

Dr. Timothy W. Fong is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. He is board certified in adult and addiction psychiatry. He is the co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program and also a member of the Steering Committee of the UCLA Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids, whose mission is to address the most pressing questions related to the impact of cannabis legalization through rigorous scientific study and discourse across disciplines. He is the Director of the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Consultation Service and an attending physician in the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Clinic.

Patricia Frye M.D. began her journey with medicinal cannabis as the first evaluating physician for a cannabis telemedicine platform, HelloMD, and went on to become professionally certified in Cannabis Science and Medicine by the University of Vermont School of Medicine. During her many years at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California her practice focused on children and teens with autistic spectrum disorder, learning and developmental disabilities, school problems, and behavior issues. She has served as a volunteer for several organizations which include the St. Mary’s AIDS Care Team, Phoenix House, an in-patient drug rehabilitation program for adolescents, Head Start Committee on Health, and Piedmont CASA where she served as an advocate for children in the family court system due to abuse or neglect. Dr. Frye serves on the Cannabis Trade Federation Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the board of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. In 2018 she authored the book “The Medical Marijuana Guide: Cannabis and Your Health.”

Bonni Goldstein, MD is the Medical Director of Canna-Centers Wellness & Education, a California-based medical practice devoted to educating patients about the use of cannabis for serious and chronic medical conditions. She completed her internship and residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she also served as chief resident. After years of working in the specialty of Pediatric Emergency medicine, she developed an interest in the science of medical cannabis after witnessing its beneficial effects in an ill friend. Over the last 15 years she has evaluated thousands of patients for use of medical cannabis and is recognized as an expert in the clinical application of cannabis therapeutics. She has a special interest in treating children with intractable epilepsy, autism, cancer and other conditions. Her latest book, “Cannabis is Medicine: How Medical Cannabis and CBD are Healing Everything from Anxiety to Chronic Pain” was published in September 2020 by Little, Brown Spark. Dr. Goldstein is currently researching the use of Cannabis-Responsive biomarkers to document objective cannabis treatment efficacy, guide clinical decision-making and improve outcomes.

Dr. Stephen S. Robinson grew up in Newark, NJ and graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and the University of Washington Medical School in Seattle. Dr. Robinson completed his MPH at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. His interest in both public health and global health became a lifelong commitment after his first visit to Cuba in the early ’70s. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Harlem Hospital Center and later served as a medical team leader to Ghana and Liberia with Operation Crossroads Africa. After working as Medical Director with Georgia’s Primary Care Assn., he worked in Tanzania, setting up an exchange program between the Institute for Medical Research in Tanzania and the Public Health Sciences Institute at Morehouse College. While there, he also worked with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health evaluating health facilities for their readiness to provide HIV/AIDS care and treatment. Since his move to Oakland, California in 2010, Dr. Robinson has been evaluating patients for their use of medical cannabis. He participated on panels at numerous cannabis-related conferences and delivered presentations on cannabis’ medicinal benefits and dosing strategies to both professional and lay audiences. Dr. Robinson contributed to the revision of the Medical Board of California’s “Guidelines for the Recommendation of Cannabis for Medical Purposes.” He has been a board member of the Society for Cannabis Clinicians, and currently serves as president of the organization.

Dilara K. Üsküp, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Sciences and an Investigator in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Üsküp is a joint doctoral graduate of the University of Chicago’s Department of Political Science and the Divinity School. She was the first in the University’s history to be awarded both a Ph.D. in political science and a Ph.D. in theology from the Divinity School. She completed her NIH/NIMH training at the UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services. Her resaerch investigates the ways religious and political institutions, attitudes, and ideology interacts and shape health behavior to inform public policy. She is also an ordained minister. Her burgeoning research portfolio includes the areas of politics and theology, HIV prevention, cannabis and social equity, and health policy. She collaborates and consultants with faith-based and faith-placed cannabis organizations that are engaged in social justice work around incarceration/citizen reentry, employment/job creation, economic development, health equity, and cannabis social equity. She is co-principal investigator of CaliCANN, a demographic analysis of the state of California cannabis market.

Dr. Genester Wilson-King, MD, is a Board-Certified obstetrician and gynecologist and Fellow of the American College of OB/Gyn with over 25 years of clinical experience providing compassionate, individualized, and research-driven care to patients throughout Florida. After years of working as a full service OB/GYN in established institutions such as Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Florida Hospital Waterman, she founded Victory Rejuvenation Center (VRC), a private holistic and preventive medicine. Dr. Wilson-King has spent quality time on cultivation farms, in processing facilities, labs, and in dispensaries across the country and in Israel. She is Co-VP of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and co-authored the Best Practices Guidelines for Cannabis Use in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding. She is also on the Board of the Doctors For Cannabis Regulation (DCFR), a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She completed her internship and residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and has degrees from Swarthmore College and Thomas Jefferson Medical College.

Sherry Yafai MD is a Cannabis Specialist and Board-Certified Emergency Medicine physician since 2009. She started her medical career at UCSD Medical School and completed her training at UCSD Emergency Medicine Residency in 2009. After recreational marijuana laws had passed in California in 2017, Dr. Yafai felt compelled to open a private Cannabis Clinic, the ReLeaf Institute, to counsel patients interested in cannabis for wellness and disease related treatment. She is the past Co-Vice President and current Secretary of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians (SCC), a distinguished speaker for UCSD Center for Medical Cannabis Research, Pacific Neuroscience Institute, and multiple other medical programs. Dr. Yafai writes a column for Emergency Medicine News, “The Case for Cannabis” and encourages discussions on the pros and cons of cannabis in the field of medicine.

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Under CA state law (the Compassionate Use Act, passed as Prop. 215 in 1996), all MDs and DOs can recommend or approve medical cannabis for their patients, however surveys of physicians have found that few have done so, and that knowledge and competence in this area are low. A recent study concluded that “discussions on cannabis primarily focus on risks (63%) rather than dosage (6%) and harm reduction (25%).”

Cannabinoid medicines and the endocannabinoid system they activate throughout the human body (not just in the brain) are rarely covered in medical school curriculums, leaving physicians with little knowledge about how their patients’ use of cannabis does or could impact their health, what products or dosages might work for them, or what interactions with other medications they may expect.

new state law in California outlaws denying medical care such as prescribing pain or other prescriptions solely based on a patient’s positive test for THC, one of the active ingredients in cannabis, yet pain specialists continue to test for THC. The California Medical Board has just issued guidelines to physicians that fail to mention the new law, while minimizing the great many studies that have found patients using cannabis for pain can often lessen their use of opioids.

State law also outlaws discrimination against medical cannabis patients requiring organ transplants, and requires hospitals and certain other health-care facilities to permit the use of non-inhaled cannabis medicines by terminally ill patents. A pending law would expand that protection to seniors with chronic health conditions.

Although it is often said that not enough studies have been conducted on cannabis, in fact tens of thousands of studies can be found in any PubMed search, and in publications like NORML’s Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and the Cannabinoids booklet.

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