2020 Conference Schedule 

Here is our conference schedule. We are continuing to update this schedule...so please keep coming back to this page for the latest updates and offerings for our Virtual Conference!

NOTE:  Attendees will receive their link to the conference platform late on Thursday, December 3, 2020. On the platform, you will find the most up-to-date conference schedule and event details! 

All times listed below are Eastern Time.


12:00 – 3:30 PM  
Year-End Board of Directors Meeting

4:00 – 5:00 PM
ACNA Annual Membership Meeting

5:00 – 5:30 PM
Annual Awards Ceremony

5:30 – 6:30 PM
Virtual Welcome Reception & Happy Hour


Chair Yoga or some kind of Meditation Session

12:00 – 12:30 PM
Opening Session/Welcoming

2:30 – 1:30 PM
Keynote Address
Legends, Fairy Tales and Medical Cannabis 
by Alice O’Leary Randall, BA, LPN, Writer & Lecturer

1:30 – 1:40 PM

1:40 – 2:40 PM
Breakout Session A – Focus: Cannabis Supply Chain Safety Considerations

Part 1: Safety Implications: The Cannabis Supply Chain
with Nicole Foss MBA, MSN, RN, Senior Vice President, Nextraction Inc.
Upon completion of this session, the nurse will understand the cannabis (high-THC cannabis and hemp) lifecycle from growing to end user product (pharmaceutical application and consumer goods). The nurse will be able to communicate the cannabis lifecycle and supply chain public health risks to patients. A patient safety focused checklist will be available to those who attend full lecture.


Part 2: Picking F.L.O.W.E.R.S.
with Jessilyn Dolan, RN, Co-Owner NurseGrown Organics, LLC; Founder, Vermont Cannabis Nurses Association; Vice President, American Nurses Association - Vermont
With increasing medical and adult use marijuana sales and the booming CBD market, consumers and health care providers need information to make the best choices possible. Knowing and understanding what to use and recommend helps to assure consumer safety, accessibility and cannabis efficacy. From lab testing, to extraction methods, and what we as cannabis nurses can do to advocate for conscious clean cannabis, we will walk you through how to carefully pick your flowers.

Breakout Session B – Focus: Testing & Policy

Part 1: Analytical Testing for the Cannabis Industry: Ensuring Consumer Safety in a Rapidly Changing Environment
with Christopher Hudalla, Ph.D, President/Chief Scientific Officer, ProVerde Laboratories, Inc.
The scope and breadth of cannabis-based therapeutics is rapidly changing, due to advances in cannabis processing and delivery methods. With these changes come new concerns about potential by-products and contaminants that put patient safety at risk. Analytical testing of cannabis products is crucial in ensuring consumer safety, but laboratories providing these testing services must stay informed on emerging contaminants and adjust testing methodologies appropriately. In addition, healthcare providers need to understand the new data being presented, to assess appropriateness and safety of products used therapeutically.


Part 2: Policy Issues for Nurses
with Michael D Rochlin, RN, MN, COHN-S, CSP, Founder & President, Confidential Therapeutics
Nurses ARE trusted professionals: tips will be presented on how to organize effectively for progressive cannabis policy, including an update on the new ACNA Policy & Government Affairs Committee and draft position on drug testing. 

2:40 – 2:50 PM

2:50 – 3:50 PM
Breakout Session A – Focus: Technology

Part 1: Using DNA: A New Approach to Cannabis
with Nancy Nurge, BS MS Nursing APRN -BC, Cannabis Nurse Practitioner
Exploring DNA can work to provide an understanding of how Cannabis works with in an individual’s system is a new frontier. DNA testing, using salvia, clinicians can focus with the information from this evolving science. This may prove to be beneficial with ratios and dosing recommendations that can not only get to proper amounts quicker but empower our patients to better health.


Part 2: Growing Digital: Leveraging Mobile App Technology
with Otha Smith III, CEO & Founder, Tetragram
Digital transformation and innovation have made it easy for cannabis patients and recreational consumers to identify which cannabis products, and more importantly which cannabinoids and terpenes are most effective in addressing a particular medical condition. Mobile technology demonstrates the benefits of data analytics and the how the scientific community at large, cultivators, products manufactures, and other cannabis brands can use the information to better inform and assist patients.

Breakout Session B – Focus: Clinical Application

Part 1: A Clinical Pharmacist's Approach to Cannabis
with Anne Berg, PharmD, Consultant Pharmacist
Through this session, attendees will: 1)Describe the pharmacokinetics of medical cannabis; 2) Describe the possible interactions with cannabis and pharmaceuticals; 3) Analyze medical cannabis and possibility to assist with opioid crisis; and 4) Understand the clinicians role in medical cannabis education.


Part 2: Exploring the Information Practices of Cannabis Nurses
with Connie Pascal, Researcher/Educator, Rutgers University - School of Communication & Information
Exploring the Information Practices of Cannabis Nurses is an interdisciplinary, multi-theoretical dissertation that studies the information practices of cannabis nurses as they learn about cannabis therapeutics and how to provide patients with cannabis care. The results of this study shed light on how cannabis nurses are using information to build identity and become cognitive authorities. Findings also points to the emergence of a network of practice around cannabis care and the role of cannabis nurses as specialists, boundary spanners, early adopters, and entrepreneurs.

3:50 – 4:00 PM

4:00 – 5:00 PM
Breakout Session A – Focus: Cannabis & Sex

Clinical Applications for Cannabis in Sexual and Reproductive Health
with Rebecca Abraham, RN, BSN, Acute on Chronic LLC
Globally, across various cultures and for thousands of years, cannabis has been used as medicine and as a tool to enhance sexual health - although both historically and today there have been several barriers to cannabis use. Since the 1970s, there has been growing understanding of the body's endocannabinoid system and endogenous cannabinoids - with physiologic effects throughout the body. There has also been growing research on the beneficial effects of cannabis on sexual function - with multiple studies showing improvement in the reported quality of sex and orgasm, duration, and increased frequency of sexual encounters. There has also been new understanding on gender differences in obtaining therapeutic effects of cannabis - both in general, as well as with the effects of different cannabinoids on sexual health. This new research is revealing the potential for new product development and the generation of clinical questions for case studies and future research. There is also evidence on how cannabis can interact with chronic health conditions and some medications - including potential effects on the metabolism of other drugs - so there are some safety and monitoring concerns that healthcare providers and patients should be aware of when starting cannabis.

Breakout Session B – Focus: End of Life

Part 1: A Cannabis Compass for the Cancer Journey
with Penny Daugherty, RN, MS, OCN, ONN-CG, Oncology Nurse Navigator, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute
This presentation was developed in response to the many questions posed to me by navigator colleagues, patients and physicians about the veracity of medicinal cannabis as an adjuvant to cancer treatment. It became obvious to me that there is a crucial need for accurate, evidence-based factual information to empower navigators to disseminate to their patients as well as patients being empowered with credible data, with which to base their treatment choices upon as well as avoiding poor choices which could be detrimental to their care, their experience along their journey as well as their pocketbook.


Part 2: Cannabis & End of Life: A Sacred Transition
with Jamie Rollins-Worster RN, BSN, CYT-500, Registered Nurse, True Health Consulting
End of life care is often riddled with fear, heavy emotion & anxiety. Cannabis has incredible potential to make a huge difference in quality of life at the very end. Hospice is an area of nursing where cannabis should be used so much more; alone & combined with pharmaceuticals it can have profound effects on symptoms such as pain, nausea, appetite anxiety & depression. I have personally witnessed the power of this plant at the end of life during my career as a crisis care RN & how it fostered connection & allowed relief of symptoms so the patients could spend quality time with family & have those final sacred moments that only happened because they were open to the power of cannabis at the end of life.

5:00 – 5:10 PM

5:10 – 6:10 PM
General Session – Focus: Spirituality

Spirituality as the ROOT of Cannabis Care
with Sherri Tutkus, RN-BSN & Mark Worster, RN-BSN, AFA, The Green Nurse
Spirituality is the root of cannabis care. This presentation will explore how cannabis was used in the past for spiritual practices and how we are coming full circle in our communities today with the creation of tribes and churches for the right to use this plant as the holy sacrament. We will explore case studies on how working with spiritual principles and cannabis has brought hope, inspiration, growth and healing to patients who seek a better quality of life.

Directly following this presentation, we will have the Conference Day #1 Wrap-Up.

6:10 – 7:10 PM
Virtual Networking Session / Activity


Chair Yoga or some kind of Meditation Session

12:00 – 12:30 PM
Opening Session/Welcoming

12:30 – 1:30 PM
Legislative Session  
with Tim Fair, Esq. & Andrew Subin, JD, Vermont Cannabis Solutions
An important overview on the latest legislative updates on cannabis and healthcare. 

1:30 – 2:30 PM
Keynote Address – Focus: Health Disparities
with Dr. Rachel Knox

2:30 – 2:40 PM

2:40 – 3:40 PM
Breakout Session A – Focus: Advocacy

For the Culture - Lessons in Cultural Diplomacy and Cannabis
with Arlene Crider, LPN, Owner/CEO, NTR Comprehensive LLC
The rapid growth of the medical cannabis industry has been a bittersweet success. Sweet for patients and professionals who are able to safely incorporate this botanical into their lives. Bitter for BIPOC communities who lack access to medical cannabis and are systematically criminalized and locked out of this budding industry. Cultural diplomacy in nursing inspires an ideal of a diverse and inclusive healthcare community and cannabis industry. The purpose of this course is to help nurses to understand legal issues related to cannabis prohibition and how to cultivate ethical and diplomatic interactions with communities of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. This course will encourage a diverse and inclusive nursing practice and equity in the medical cannabis industry for ALL.

Breakout Session B – Focus: Nurse Coaching

Part 1: The Interconnectedness of Cannabis Nurse Coaching
with Dominique Fontaine, BSN, RN, HNB-BC, HWNC-BC, Founder & CEO, Sage Integrative Wellness, LLC
Cannabis and Nurse Coaching are two popular topics being talked about everywhere. Learn the benefits and strategies of cannabis nurse coaching so you can walk that journey of transformation with the cannabis population. Elevate your cannabis nurse practice with the connection of mind, body, and spiritual wellness.


Part 2: Cannabis Nursing in a Virtual World
with Jessie Gill, RN, Founder and CEO, Cannabis Education LLC
Explore the world of online cannabis nursing. An online presence is more essential than ever during the era of COVID. In this lecture we will explore the vital importance of a website. How to build one and promote it. We will review SEO, site rankings, and how to build backlinks. We will highlight the importance of social media and the value of working with the press. We will review various online HIPAA-approved consulting platforms and become more comfortable exploring them.

3:40 – 3:50 PM

3:50 – 4:50 PM
Breakout Session A – Focus: Case Studies

Part 1: From Poppies to Pot: Transition to Cannabis for Crohn's Disease - A Case Study
with Frederick A Slezak, MD, MBA, FACS, FACRS, FACG, Medical Director, Ohio Medical Alliance
Using a case study framework, the nurse will be able to compare the roles of cannabis and opiates for the symptomatic Crohn's disease. Contemporary treatment options will be reviewed including the use of medical marijuana for Crohn's disease. At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to outline opportunities for transition of a patient into a cannabis program.


Part 2: We will be offering a second case study.
with Dr. Mary Clifton

Breakout Session B – Focus: Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

The Role of the Endocannabinoid System as a Critical Stress Response System
with Jean Downs, PhD, MS, RN, Cannabinoid Science Writer, CannaSci Open;
Eloise Theisen, MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC, President, American Cannabis Nurses Association
& Alice Moon, Publicist & CHS Advocate
As a homeostatic modulator of stress, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) changes in response to psychological or environmental stress exposure and mediates the effects of stress on the central nervous system. This presentation will review recent progress in understanding the role of the endocannabinoid system as a stress-regulatory neuromodulatory signaling system, with emphasis on cannabinoid receptor signaling pathways and ECS modulation of stress responses from the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and sympathetic nervous system. The effects of acute, variable, and chronic stress exposure on ECS signal functioning will be explored, highlighting the plasticity of endocannabinoid signaling in the limbic system and immune system. The clinical implications of biological and genetic factors that influence resilience or vulnerability to the negative consequences of chronic stress exposure will be discussed in the context of therapeutic intervention.

Tue 4:50 – 5:00 PM

5:00 – 6:00 PM
Endnote Address – Focus: Research
Cannabis Research: Weeding Through the Findings
with Carey Clark, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, RYT, FAAN, Immediate Past President, American Cannabis Nurses Association; Rachel Parmelee, MSN, BSN, RN, Secretary, American Cannabis Nurses Association;
Llewellyn Dawn Smith, MSN, RN, Director,  American Cannabis Nurses Association;
& Uwe Blesching

Directly following this presentation, we will have the Conference Wrap-Up.