DFCR resources include a number of national experts knowledgeable in regulatory and clinical aspects of cannabis legalization. These experts are available for consultation, lectures, testimonies, and media interviews.
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Bryon Adinoff, MD is an addiction psychiatrist and academician. He was appointed Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine following his retirement as Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and as a psychiatrist for 30 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has published over 175 papers and book chapters on the neurobiology and treatment of addiction and is Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. In his semi-retired status, he is evolving from focusing on the consequences of substance use itself to the consequences of the drug war. As a Founding Member, his commitment to the goals of DFCR arises from his desire to ensure that the harsh, punitive prohibition of cannabis use is replaced by a regulatory system that protects both the individual and society.
Julia Arnsten, MD, MPH, is Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, and Epidemiology & Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Dr. Arnsten is a general internist with a long-standing interest in behavioral medicine, including adherence with medication-taking, nicotine dependence, and treatment of substance use disorders. She currently leads an NIH-funded research program focused on addiction and chronic medical illness at Einstein/Montefiore. Dr. Arnsten graduated from the New York University School of Medicine in 1990 and completed residency training in Primary Care Internal Medicine at Bellevue Hospital and New York University Medical Center in 1993. She then completed a research fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Arnsten has been recognized for outstanding teaching, mentoring, and leadership with several local and national awards.
Deondra Asike, MD is a board-certified anesthesiologist and pain medicine physician. She is a licensed acupuncturist and Clinical Associate at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Asike is a veteran of the United States Air Force and deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in 2013. She received her BS in Physiological Sciences from the University of Arizona and medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed her anesthesiology residency at the San Antonio Military Medical Center and fellowship training in pain medicine at the University of Maryland. Dr. Asike currently serves on the Maryland Department of Health Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Advisory Board. She believes strongly in a multimodal approach to chronic pain management that includes non-opioid medications, cannabis as medicine, physical therapy, and behavioral therapy. In 2022, Dr. Asike founded National Pain ReLEAF to help reform the way we treat chronic pain while supporting the body’s own healing process.
Tanja Bagar, PhD, is the co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the Expert Council of the ICANNA International Institute for Cannabinoids, a collaborative effort of Slovenia, Germany, and Austria. She lectures in microbiology, biochemistry and topics on ecology at the Faculty Alma Mater Europaea and is a lecturer for medical staff and patients at several international education programs on cannabinoids. Dr. Bagar is the author of The Hemp Medicine: How Hemp Helps with Pain, Rheumatism, Cancer and Stress, published in German and Slovene and soon to be published in English and Croatian. She is also the co-founder of an online consulting clinic for the medical use of cannabinoids and a member of the first group in Slovenia to use cannabinoids in an outpatient consultative setting. Dr. Bagar obtained her research training in the laboratory at the National Institute of Chemistry, the Faculty of Biotechnology, the National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Food, in the Topolšica Hospital, and abroad at the Institute of Microbiology and Genetics at the Georg-August University of Gottingen in Germany and at the Institute for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh.
Hugh Blumenfeld, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Director of Behavioral Medicine at UConn’s Family Medicine Residency Program. He has worked as a family physician in Hartford, CT since 2010. He maintains a full scope of practice that includes both outpatient primary care and hospitalist care, with privileges in prenatal care and obstetrics. He also serves as Medical Director for a non-profit hospice care company. Dr. Blumenfeld completed his medical training at University of Connecticut and afterward joined the faculty. His areas of academic interest include behavioral medicine, bioethics and evidence-based medicine. Before embarking on a career in medicine, Dr. Blumenfeld was a professor of English, having earned a PhD in Poetics at New York University with prior degrees from University of Chicago and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Kevin Boehnke, PhD is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan. He completed his BS in Biology at the University of Michigan and received his doctorate from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences in 2017. Dr. Boehnke’s current research focuses on therapeutic applications of illicit or semi-licit substances (cannabis, psychedelics) for chronic pain. His goal is to rigorously assess the appropriate use of these substances and to help address the public health harms caused by their criminalization. He works with patient advocacy groups such as the National Fibromyalgia Association and the Arthritis Foundation to help understand how cannabis or cannabidiol products are used by people with chronic pain conditions. Dr. Boehnke’s personal essays and research have been published in many leading journals, including Science, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Annals of Internal Medicine, and Nature. His work and voice have been featured in major news outlets throughout the country, including ABC News, New York Times, Scientific American, CNET, and US News. He is also a yoga instructor.
Steven Grant, Ph.D. Dr. Grant’s interest in the intersection of neuroscience and pharmacology started as an undergraduate when he read an article describing how psychedelic drugs act on brain serotonin receptors. He received a Ph.D. in 1979 from the University of Georgia in BioPsychology and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Psychiatry Department of Yale School of Medicine. Following faculty positions at Yale and the University of Delaware, Dr. Grant joined the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse as a staff scientist. There he conducted studies on drug craving and decision-making in humans that combined brain pharmacology and cognitive neuroscience using brain imaging. He then joined the NIDA extramural staff as a Program Officer where he developed a nationwide funding program on the cognitive neuroscience of substance misuse and became chief of the Clinical Neuroscience Branch. After nearly five decades of conducting basic and clinical research on the action of drugs on the brain, Dr. Grant retired from NIDA in 2020 and joined the scientific staff at the Heffter Research Institute to pursue his original interest in psychedelic drug research.
Peter Grinspoon, MD, is a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of the forthcoming (4/20/23) book, Seeing Through the Smoke: A Cannabis Specialist Untangles the Truth About Cannabis, as well as the memoir Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction. He is a TedX speaker. He spent two years as an Associate Director of the Massachusetts Physician Health Service helping physicians with addiction and mental health issues. He graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy with honors from Swarthmore College. He then spent five years as a Campaign Director for the environmental group Greenpeace before entering medical school at Boston University School of Medicine, where he graduated with honors. He completed his residency at Harvard’s Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, in the primary care program. He has been on national television including NBC, C-SPAN, and Fox and Friends, and his writings have been published in The Nation and The Los Angeles Times. He is a Contributing Editor to Harvard Health Publications.
Rachel Knox, MD, MBA is an endocannabinologist specializing in cannabinoid medicine, and a policy expert on cannabis and psychedelic health equity. She’s the creator and president of the Cannabis Health Equity Movement (CHEM)™, comprising ACHEM–the Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine–and CHEM Allyance; and is co-founder of Doctors Knox, Inc. and Pivital Holdings, a transformative life sciences company developing education and health solutions to improve well care access, promote health and data equity, and develop natural and botanical product innovations addressing stigmatized conditions in historically excluded communities. She is the immediate past chair of the Oregon Cannabis Commission, Equity Chair of the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board, a founding board member of Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition (CRCC), and member of the National Council on Federal Psychedelic Priorities (NCFPP).
Mikhail Kogan, MD, ABOIM was an early adopter of the Washington, D.C. Medical Cannabis program and has been instrumental in the D.C. Rx Medical Cannabis education program. In 2021, Dr. Kogan published Medical Marijuana: Dr. Kogan's Evidence-Based Guide to the Health Benefits of Cannabis and CBD. Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, Palliative Care, and Integrative Medicine, is a leader in the newly established field of Integrative Geriatrics. He is the editor of “Integrative Geriatric Medicine” Oxford University Press textbook, and is a frequent speaker on the topics of Integrative Medicine and Geriatrics, healthy aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and the use of medical cannabis. Dr. Kogan currently serves as medical director of the GW Center for Integrative Medicine, is the founder and director of the George Washington University Integrative Geriatrics Fellowship Track, and is the director of the Integrative Medicine Track program at the George Washington University School of Medicine.
Donald O. Lyman, MD, DTPH, received his BA in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania (1964), his MD from Yale University (1968) and DTPH from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (1974). He did his residency training at the Universities of Miami (Florida) and the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Lyman served in the U.S. Public Health Service as an EIS (Epidemic Intelligence Service) officer (1970-74), and as senior disease control officer for New York State (1974-78) and California (1978-2012). He was President of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD; 2010), was President of the American Cancer Society, California Division (2003-2004), and was secretary of the American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate (2008-2009). In his work with the California Medical Association (CMA), he authored its landmark white paper “Cannabis and the Regulatory Void” (2011) which led to the statewide ballot initiative “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” (Proposition 64, 2016) of which he was one-of-two chief legal “proponents” and which passed with a 57% vote. He is the former Chair and now a member of CMA’s Council on Science and Public Health which oversees progress in implementing this new statute. In this capacity, Dr. Lyman authored the CMA white paper Cannabis Regulation and Physicians.
David L. Nathan, MD, DFAPA is a psychiatrist, writer, and educator in Princeton NJ. He is the founder of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation and served as our first President. Dr. Nathan is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. While maintaining a full-time private practice, he serves as Director of Continuing Medical Education for the Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) and Director of Professional Education at Princeton House Behavioral Health (PHBH). While serving on the steering committee of New Jersey United For Marijuana Reform (NJUMR.org), Dr. Nathan was surprised by the absence of any national organization to act as the voice of physicians who wish to guide our nation along a well-regulated path to cannabis legalization. This need was the inspiration for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation.
Deepika Slawek, MD, MPH, MS is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Montefiore Health Systems and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY in the Division of General Internal Medicine. She is board certified in Infectious Diseases, Addiction Medicine, and Internal Medicine and is the Co-Director of the Montefiore Medical Cannabis Program. Dr. Slawek works to improve long-term outcomes in people living with HIV (PLWH) and people who use cannabis for therapeutic purposes in her clinical work and research. Dr. Slawek is the recipient of a K23 award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to test how different formulations of medical cannabis affect neuropathic pain and inflammation in PLWH in an innovative quasi-experimental study. Prior to joining Montefiore-Einstein, Dr. Slawek completed her residency training in Primary Care Internal Medicine at Stony Brook University Hospital and her Infectious Diseases Fellowship at New York University/Bellevue Hospital Center. She holds a Masters of Science in Clinical Research Methods from Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Leslie Mendoza Temple, MD, ABOIM is the Owen L. Coon Foundation Chair of Integrative Medicine and Medical Director of the NorthShore Integrative Medicine Program, a Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and a board-certified Family Practice Physician. She received her B.A. in Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Following medical school at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, she completed Family Medicine residency training at Northwestern University. She then completed a two-year fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Weil, concurrently finishing a two-year fellowship in Family Medicine Faculty Development at Northwestern University Medical School. Dr. Temple combines the tools of modern Western medicine with safe, evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine (including cannabis) to achieve optimal health and symptom reduction and serves on the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board for the Illinois Department of Public Health. Although personally opposed to the use of recreational substances, Dr. Temple believes the thoughtful regulation of cannabis is far more beneficial to public health and social justice than its prohibition.
Shaleen Title is an Indian-American attorney and longtime drug policy activist who has been writing, passing, and implementing equitable cannabis laws for over 20 years. Shaleen is the author of "Fair and Square: How to Effectively Incorporate Social Equity Into Cannabis Laws and Regulations." She is CEO and co-founder of the drug policy think tank Parabola Center, which creates model policies to protect people rather than corporate profits, and currently serves as Distinguished Cannabis Policy Practitioner in Residence at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center and as vice-chair of the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition. In 2017, she was appointed to serve as one of five inaugural commissioners of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission and was widely recognized during her term for her focus on racial justice and her efforts to make the cannabis industry more fair and inclusive. She is a frequent keynote speaker and consultant on cannabis policy and has testified before governmental bodies around the world about restorative justice in marijuana laws.
Janice Marie Vaughn-Knox, MD has more than 35 years in the practice of medicine. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is a wife, mother, best-selling author, and Board Certified Anesthesiologist. Dr. Janice Knox is a certified American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine Specialist and Oregon representative for Doctors for Cannabis regulation. Dr. Knox is a co-founder of the American Cannabinoid Clinics along with her physician husband, Dr. David, and 2 daughters Dr. Rachel Knox and Dr. Jessica Knox. Over her years in the operating room, Dr. Janice witnessed the increased use of life-threatening pain medications and unnecessary medical interventions that yield low success rates while patients continued to get sicker. This awareness motivated Dr. Janice to become an expert in cannabis and the fields of Cannabis Therapeutics and Endocannabinology. Dr. Janice passionately believes in cannabis as a medicine. Just as passionately she believes that education about cannabis along with safe, quality, and tested products will help to remove the negative stigma that continues to prevent cannabis from becoming mainstream medicine. This will change when regulations are in place that will set standards for growing, testing, producing, and packaging cannabis as a medicine.
Leigh Vinocur, MD, MS, FACEP, is a board-certified emergency physician and recognized television medical expert. Dr. Vinocur received one of the country’s first master’s degrees in medical cannabis science and therapeutics from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, where she continues to lecture. As a medical cannabis physician, her Ananda Medical Practice and Consulting has been active since Maryland’s medical cannabis laws passed in 2016 and Dr. Vinocur was appointed by the Governor of Maryland to the state’s newly formed Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council in 2023. Dr. Vinocur’s practice is focused on educating patients, clinicians, and industry with the most up-to-date, evidence-based tailor-made training programs on medical cannabis science and therapeutics. She is a frequent guest lecturer and grand round presenter and is a regular contributor to the Hearst publication GreenState, where the “Ask Dr. Leigh” column answers questions related to medical cannabis.
Adie Rae Wilson-Poe, PhD is a neuroscientist with expertise in the translational and clinical research of cannabis. She is an Assistant Scientist at the Legacy Research Institute and is adjunct faculty at Washington State University. Dr. Rae’s multi-faceted research ranges from synaptic physiology to clinical pharmacology and has been awarded the prestigious Pathway to Independence Award from NIDA. Her work focuses on pain management, misuse liability, cannabis/opioid interactions and harm reduction. Dr. Rae has published in top academic journals under the surname Wilson-Poe. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Oregon Cannabis Commission and she is a long-standing member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Rae founded a technology company with a successful exit in 2022. She has also served as a consultant to the cannabis industry, specializing in layperson education, experiential data, and digital wellness technology.
Genester Wilson-King, MD, FACOG is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist with many years of clinical experience providing compassionate and research-driven care to patients. After years of providing full-service OB/GYN care, she founded Victory Rejuvenation Center (VRC), a private holistic and integrative wellness medicine practice that provides life-transforming management modalities and customized medicines to patients. As the Medical Director and Owner of VRC, she assesses where her patients are on the health and wellness spectrum, and, with the patient’s input, creates an individualized program which enables them to get to where they want to be on the health and wellness spectrum. She is Vice President of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, a non-profit that works to empower and educate healthcare providers on the use of cannabis medicine. She is also on the Special Advisory Board for the Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine (ACHEM). Dr. Wilson-King is co-author of three research articles assessing the impact of cannabis on female and male sexual function with the Female Sexual Function Index for females and the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) for males. Dr. Wilson-King is an expert on cannabis use in women’s health conditions, an experienced cannabis clinician for adults, and a master in Hormone Therapy.
Lauren Vrabel, PharmD graduated from Duquesne University (2013) in Pittsburgh, PA where she has practiced as a cannabis pharmacist in the PA Medical Marijuana Program since 2018. She passionately advocates for improved regulations and represents DFCR as a liaison to the ASTM International D37 Committee on Cannabis. ASTM International is a globally recognized nonprofit organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus standards for various industries.
DFCR Scientific Advisors provide scientific input and advice to DFCR but do not participate in or necessarily endorse official DFCR policy positions.
David A. Gorelick, M.D., Ph.D., DLFAPA, FASAM is Professor of Psychiatry (part-time) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, having retired in October 2013 from the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), US National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Gorelick joined NIDA in 1989 as a tenured physician-scientist. Dr. Gorelick has authored or co-authored more than more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 50 book chapters and is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cannabis Research. His recent work focuses on cannabis (including its potential therapeutic uses), cocaine, and individuals with co-morbid psychiatric disorders.
Godfrey Pearlson, MD, MBBS, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Yale University and is director of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center at the Institute of Living in Connecticut. He completed his medical degree at Newcastle University in the UK and obtained a graduate Philosophy Degree at Columbia University in New York City. He trained in psychiatry and was subsequently a psychiatry professor at Johns Hopkins University, where he founded the Division of Psychiatric Neuroimaging. Dr. Pearlson utilizes neuroimaging to illuminate substance use and psychotic disorders and has published over 700 peer-reviewed scientific articles. His cannabis research focuses on neuroimaging and the acute effects of cannabinoids on driving abilities and is a member of the Board of Physicians that advises Connecticut on medical cannabis. His recent book, Weed Science: Cannabis Controversies and Challenges, explores the science of cannabis, providing a guide to public policy.