Medical marijuana is a beautiful thing that is finally showing its potential in Florida’s medical marijuana program which was officially expanded in 2016 by a majority vote. Because of the potential, South Florida is hosting a medical cannabis symposium to educate people on the benefits of medical marijuana. Over 300 medical doctors, attorneys, and cannabis industry experts will be gathered for the 2nd annual South Florida Medical Cannabis Symposium on March 11 in Fort Lauderdale, FL at the Westin Resort and Hotel. Here’s what we’re expecting to go down.
South Florida Medical Cannabis Symposium Schedule
The South Florida Medical Cannabis Symposium will attract a ton of experts in the cannabis industry to discuss cannabis as medicine. Specifically, how it can benefit folks that suffer from debilitating conditions like chronic pain and Alzheimer’s. We’ll be hearing a lot from Dustin Sulak (a doctor at the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine as well as the medical director at Integr8 Health in Falmouth, Maine) and Gregory Smith(a former major in the US Army with a masters degree who has published a textbook on medical cannabis), and Gregory Gerdeman (a neurophysiologist and assistant professor of biology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida). The symposium and these speakers will educate the community on the benefits of marijuana for Alzheimer’s disease, which is excellent in a state that contains so many old folks.
The Symposium will be tailored specifically toward the licensed doctors in the Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. The program will run on a pretty tight schedule which starts promptly at 8 AM and ends at 3 PM. The participants will learn all about the human body’s endocannabinoid system and its physiology, which will teach the doctors more about how medical marijuana can relieve pain and treat various other debilitating conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease progression.
After that, the attorneys will take the stage. Florida is still trying to figure out how state officials will implement the new medical marijuana program, and they’re not sure how they’ll enforce the laws. Legal guidance will be necessary, and speakers will shed some light on what’s happening with the laws and propose new ideas on enforcement options. Amendment 2 passed with 71% majority support, but there are still a lot of questions up in the air which we’re hoping to have answered.
Medical Cannabis Roundtable
Another major part of the South Florida Medical Cannabis Symposium will be a legal roundtable, where Florida doctors can ease their liability concerns, which are pretty huge given that cannabis is still a Schedule 1 federally illegal “drug” that has become legal statewide.
The roundtable will feature a panel of licensed healthcare attorneys and regulated substance experts. It’s set to be moderated by Jodi Laurence of GreenSpoon Marder and will include several others including David Kotler of Cohen Kotler, Jonathan Robbins of Akerman, and Daniel Sparks of BiotrackTHC. After a brief discussion, the panel will take several questions from the audience, and answer as thoroughly as possible.
Headlining Against Alzheimer’s
A headlining feature will be the use of cannabis to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the qualifying conditions for Florida’s medical marijuana program, and it’s one of the chronic neurodegenerative disorders that can be treated with both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), which are marijuana-derived compounds. THC and CBD have both proven to have a significant impact on the disease, including improving the symptoms of dementia. Check out our post on Grannies and Grass for more information on how these compounds can slowly halt the progression of these diseases.
AS we mentioned before, Gregory Smith has a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University. He’s also a former major in the US Army, and has published a book on medical cannabis by the name of Medical Cannabis: Basic Science and Clinical Applications. The textbook is one of the first books on marijuana based entirely in scientifical fact and checked by peers for informational correctness. Aside from sharing his findings, Smith will review current and newer research findings, including the ones that suggest that doctors may end up recommending microdoses of THC to prevent chronic neurodegenerative diseases.
“Our goal for the symposium is to create an environment where physicians and medical professionals can learn about the science and research behind medical cannabis and the human endocannabinoid system,” said Gregg H. Weiss, who is the founder of Canna Holdings, which is a Florida company that’s trying to get a license for cultivation, processing, and dispensing medical marijuana in Florida. “In addition to CMEs, our event will confront the legal issues Florida physicians are facing. If physicians do not have the facts along with recent science and research, it will be nearly impossible for the projected 450,000 patients in Florida to have access to this medicine.”
“Thousands of patients and their doctors want to know how it’s possible that one herb can safely and effectively treat so many medical conditions. The answer lies in the endocannabinoid system. Strangely, endocannabinoid physiology is omitted from almost every medical school curriculum. It’s time for healthcare providers to discover what researchers know to be the one of the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.”
Dr. Dustin Sulak added. Sulak is a doctor at the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine as well as the medical director at Integr8 Health in Falmouth, Maine.
Along with these guys, a neurophysiologist and assistant professor of biology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida by the name of Gregory Gerdeman will be at the symposium to discuss “Mechanisms of Pain Relief Using Cannabis.”
This is awesome, because Gerdeman is a well known voice in the community. He has received a ton of support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Science Foundation. His scientific papers have appeared in top-tier science journals like Nature Neuroscience, Trends in Neuroscience and Neuropsychopharmacology and have been cited more than 1500 times in various forms of scientific literature.
CHT Medical is one of the seven licensed dispensing organizations in Florida and is also the title sponsor of the south Florida medical cannabis symposium. They recently started a home delivery service that brings medicine to qualified patients that can’t go and get it themselves. There are several other sponsors as well, which includes Modern Health Concepts, CannaKorp, the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, TheAnswerPage.com, South Florida Hospital News, AltMed, Americans for Safe Access, The Florida Medical Cannabis Industry Association, and Greenspoon Marder.
Overall, we will be able to expect a day packed full of excellent information and educational materials provided by some of the thought leaders of the cannabis industry in America. People will be able to come and ask questions about the way cannabis works as medicine, why it’s a better choice for most patients than other treatment options, and how city planners and the health department will enforce laws. It will also be an excellent choice for doctors in Florida to understand the benefits of cannabis so that more patients will be able to have access when they need it. The doctors will also learn how to protect themselves in the event of conflicting laws between the federal laws and the state laws. The symposium will help all of Florida’s doctors get on the same page with the laws and educate the more skeptical doctors on the health benefits of cannabis and what it can do for the community.