Challenges and Opportunities In Medical Cannabis for the Professional Horticulturist Workshop, Waikaloa, September 27, 2011

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The American Society for Horticultural Sciences is sponsoring their first discussion about the horticulture needs of the crop.

Horticultural Scientist Perspective On Medicinal Cannabis Research
Lyle E. Craker, Ph.D., Univ of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

While the process for permission to do medicinal Cannabis research in the United States appears straightforward, the classification of this plant as a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) limits any ability to logically proceed. In the beginning, one completes an application form to the DEA and patiently waits for a reply as the mechanics of government agencies can be slow. Yet, an answer to the request for research with medicinal Cannabis seems to be indefinitely deterred. The DEA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the two national agencies charged with control of recreational and medicinal Cannabis, appear to assume that scientific investigations of medicinal Cannabis will lead to more recreational use as opposed to medicinal use. Thus, the question on whether Cannabis can effectively treat human ailments remains scientifically unanswered. A political solution seems necessary.

Legal Implications for Horticulturalist Working with Medicinal Cannabis
Brian Vicente, Esq, Sensible Colorado, Denver, CO

This presentation will highlight a hot trend in health care and horticultural science--the emergence of marijuana as a mainstream medicine. Fifteen states have laws protecting this plant-medicine, and hundreds of thousands of Americans use it for medicinal purposes. This discussion will highlight current laws, science, and policy around this issue-- including the growth in horticultural employment in the states and cities where medical marijuana cultivation is legal.

A Case for Medical Cannabis As a Therapeutic Agent
Clifton Otto, MD, Botanomedical Research of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI

Cannabis is a medicinal plant with a rich history of use throughout the course of human civilization. More recently, formal research with cannabis in the laboratory and clinical setting has created a wealth of scientific knowledge that is confirming the medical properties of this controversial plant. Review of these issues will be examined.

Grower Perspective Of Horticultural Issues of Medicinal Cannabis
Kerrie B. Badertscher, CPH, Otoké Horticulture LLC, Allenspark, CO

Medicinal Cannabis production, now legal at varying levels in 15 states with more pending in 2011, represent real and perceived risks. Currently this crop, due to Federal restrictions, lacks standard official oversight that is utilized in all other aspects of food, fiber or medicinal-grade crops. Various issues surrounding research, Best Management Practices, sanitation standards will be addressed. A discussion of ASHS’s role will be included.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:
NCIA, Sensible Colorado, CCHPAA (Cannabis Consumer Health and Patient Advocacy Association), Colorado Dispensary Services, B*Goods, Otoké Horticulture, and Harborside

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