The 2019 North American Cannabis Summit just released a list of more than 100 sessions and speakers slated for the January 28-30 event at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles. This multinational event will feature include hundreds of public health officials, government representatives, and regulatory, health, science, social justice, and equity professionals from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico discussing the most pressing and debated topics surrounding cannabis.
This objective forum comes at a vital time in American history, as 33 U.S. states and Washington, DC, are grappling with the complexities of implementing cannabis legalization and managing regulatory and policy issues, public health, and decriminalization. With Michigan voters approving recreational cannabis in November, and Utah and Missouri joining the states that allow medical cannabis, the Summit allows for widespread distribution of knowledge, cutting-edge science, and state/country experience. Canadian health and science experts also will be on hand to share lessons learned after becoming the second nation in the world to legalize recreational marijuana.
The Summit features dozens of cannabis experts, including:
· Andrew Freedman, Colorado’s first Director of Marijuana Coordination and co-founder and senior director for Freedman & Koski, a consulting firm of experts in marijuana regulation. Freedman was named by Men’s Health Magazine as one of the 30 most influential health influencers of the last 30 years.
· Lewis Koski, former Director of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division during the state’s legalization of marijuana and co-founder and senior director for Freedman & Koski. Lewis is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in formative marijuana policy.
· Shaleen Title, appointed by the Massachusetts governor, treasurer, and attorney general to the Cannabis Control Commission. Named to the Boston Business Journal’s 2018 list of the 50 most powerful people in Boston. She has won several awards for her advocacy work and efforts to bring more women and people of color into drug policy reform and the cannabis industry.
· Cat Packer, first executive director of the Department of Cannabis Regulation for the City of Los Angeles. She oversees the implementation of the City’s new commercial cannabis regulatory program. Prior to this role, she served as California policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, where she worked to ensure the successful and equitable implementation of California’s recently passed Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
· Beau Kilmer, senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and codirector of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. His research lies at the intersection of public health and public safety, and some of his current projects include analyzing the consequences of cannabis.
· Amy Porath, director of Research at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. For the past 17 years, Porath’s research has focused on cannabis and drug-impaired driving. Her expertise is utilized by the Government of Canada and the World Health Organization.
· Gillian Schauer, senior consultant to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working on cannabis policy, research, and surveillance issues. Her work includes founding the Multi-State Collaborative on Cannabis and Public Health.
· M-J Milloy, research scientist at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use and principal investigator of the ACCESS study, an ongoing prospective cohort of HIV-positive people who use illicit drugs. He has published more than 175 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including Addiction and Lancet.
Session topics span a wide spectrum of issues, such as:
· Public Health Considerations for Adult Cannabis Use
· Interventions for Adolescent Cannabis Misuse
· Regulatory Barriers to Cannabis Research
· New Hampshire: Finding Marijuana Middle Ground in Extreme Times
· Dealing with Unlicensed Cannabis Business Operators
· Modes of Marijuana Administration Before & During Pregnancy
· Prevalence and Correlates of Cannabis Use Disorder among Latinos
· Increasing Marijuana Use by Older Adults; Causes for Concern
· Dealing with Recreational Cannabis in the Workplace
· Cannabis Reform as Criminal Justice Reform
· Prevalence and Attitudes of Cannabis Use in Family Homes
· Gold Rush to Green Rush: Marijuana Cultivation on Yurok Land
· Cannabis Surveillance in the Field: Oregon and Colorado
· Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Recommendations of Quebec’s Public Health Directors
Sponsors of the 2019 Summit are Advocates for Human Potential, Inc.; the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP); the California Department of Public Health; the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction; and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Integrated Substance Abuse Programs.