North American Cannabis Summit Proceedings and Calls to Action Released

The 2019 North American Cannabis Summit released its 2019 Summary of Proceedings today, making information on the current and anticipated future state of cannabis public health, science, policy, and health equity available for a limited time at The summary also announces the upcoming Cannabis Public Health Network, which will create a community of cannabis experts across various content and practice areas for information sharing and potential collaboration.

The Summary of Proceedings provides a high-level overview of the keynote presentations; vital takeaway points and clinical, policy and public health commentaries from 2019 Summit leaders and speakers. It concludes with eight calls to action gleaned from summit presentations and discussions.

The recent vaping crisis highlights the need for coordination of public health messaging around cannabis legalization and regulatory approaches at the local and state level. The 2019 Summit proceedings are a valuable resource for state leaders, public health workers, regulators, policymakers, law enforcement, researchers, educators and those interested in health and science related to cannabis legalization. This shared knowl­edge enables consistent action and messaging in states across the nation.

“As the cannabis industry becomes increasingly powerful, spaces where elected officials, regulators, health officials, researchers and other stakeholders can exchange policy ideas devoid of commercial influence are becoming harder to find,” stated Beau Kilmer, director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center, noting the importance of the 2019 Summit.

The 2019 Summit is recognized as the world’s largest cannabis public health forum, with more than 600 participants and presenters from six countries attending this year. Held in January 2019 in Los Angeles, it included nearly 80 keynote sessions, workshops and interactive lunch-and-learn discussions, as well as 34 poster presentations, all categorized into the following six interrelated tracks and with a special focus on health equity:

  • Prevention and Education
  • Governance, Federal Law, and Emerging Policy
  • Emerging Research and Epidemiological Data
  • Regulatory Issues
  • Health Effects
  • Public Safety
International experts who presented keynotes at the 2019 Summit and whose ideas are featured in the summary include

  • Shaleen Title, commissioner, Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission;
  • Manuel H. Ruiz de Chávez, president, Comisión Nacional de Bioética de México (National Bioethics Commission of Mexico);
  • Krista Apse, director, external relations, Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Branch, Health Canada;
  • Igor Grant, distinguished profession and director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego;
  • Althea Grant-Lenzy, senior advisor for science to the deputy director for non-infectious diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
  • Gillian Schauer, senior consultant to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and founder of the Multi-State Collaborative on Cannabis and Public Health;
  • Andrew Freedman, Colorado’s first director of marijuana coordination and co-founder and senior director of Freedman & Koski, a consulting firm of experts in marijuana regulation;
  • 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; and
  • Ziva Cooper, research director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative.
Sponsors of the 2019 Summit were Advocates for Human Potential, Inc., the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, the California Department of Public Health, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, and UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs.

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