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Medical Rules Marijuana Sales in Colorado But Most Doctors Still in the Dark

DENVER, Aug. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Does your doctor know what you're smoking?  Chances are, probably not.  To date, nearly 800 doctors have recommended marijuana to the over 112,000 currently registered patients under Colorado's Amendment 20. But the majority of the other roughly 20,300+ active physicians listed with the Colorado Dept of Regulatory Agencies still know very little about it – even though a poll in February 2014 showed 51% of Colorado adults say they have tried it.

"With marijuana legalization underway, every doctor needs a basic knowledge of how cannabis affects the body," says Dr. Laura Borgelt, Professor at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Campus. "Because our patients are already using it."

To help fill this knowledge-gap, Healthy Choices Unlimited and the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine are co-sponsoring a symposium: Marijuana for Medical Professionals.  The conference is Colorado's first to offer cannabis-specific Continuing Medical Education credits for doctors, nurses and health professionals. The conference will convene in Denver September 9-11, 2014 at the Sherman St Events Center downtown.

"MJ for MDs," as the providers call it, features a unique combination of traditional lectures by prominent researchers, case study presentations, and hands-on learning.  A "Mock Dispensary" display in the exhibit hall will give attendees a first-hand look at marijuana products available to patients.  A "Mock Evaluation" will take attendees through a basic MMJ evaluation visit with a cannabis-specialist MD.  An Expo Hall of medical marijuana products will showcase the full range of options for patients.

Dr. Borgelt will cover basics of the endocannabinoid system and pharmaceutical preparations of cannabis. Internationally recognized cannabis researchers Donald Abrams, MD and David Bearman, MD will present their findings from decades of research. Colorado clinician Margaret Gedde, MD will discuss her work with pediatric epilepsy, as featured on CNN's WEED series with Dr. Sanjay Gupta earlier this year.   Other speakers will discuss condition-specific cannabis use, and the use of non-psychoactive cannabinoids in treatment. Dispensary presentations on patient treatments round out the learning with real-world examples.

"One of the issues federal marijuana prohibition created was patients treating themselves with cannabis but, without physician oversight. The majority of clinicians have been hesitant to prescribe medical marijuana due to the lack of literature and they have not had any formal training with the substance, as well as, it has been considered illegal; thus potentially affecting their licensure," says Scott Hershman, MD of the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine.  To address this issue, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment MMJ expert Ken Gershman, MD is moderating a panel discussion on physician licenses and laws. CDPHE is also hosting an "Answer Table" staffed with Medical Marijuana Registry personnel to answer questions one-on-one. 

Cannabis industry leader and consultant Todd Mitchem will also be speaking at the conference to briefly tell his story. "I am excited to be a part of this amazing and much needed conference. There are countless ways cannabis can be utilized as a medicine and doctors must be informed," said Mitchem. "Medicinal cannabis is why I got into this industry and it is why I am so passionate about educating doctors."

The conference goal is to create an open dialogue between the conventional healthcare community and the rapidly maturing medical marijuana industry.

For more information email or call 720-588-3737. 

Http:// or Http://

Media contacts include:

Dr. Laura Borgelt is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in the Departments of Clinical Pharmacy (Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences) and Family Medicine (School of Medicine). Dr. Borgelt's teaching, practice, and research focus on patient safety. Through her training and experience, Dr. Borgelt has extensive knowledge of marijuana with regards to its pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, therapeutic effectiveness, and potential risks.

Laura Borgelt, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS
cell 303-257-7221

The Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM) is nationally accredited to certify education and issue continuing education credit to a multidisciplinary audience of learners, including physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, psychologists, dentists and social workers.

PIM has been awarded accreditation with commendation by the ACCME and has also achieved accreditation with distinction by the ANCC, which places PIM among a very select number of accredited organizations that have been recognized for the highest level of organizational excellence by these prestigious accreditors. Http://

Scott Hershman, MD, CCMEP
Medical Director, Healthcare Collaboration
Postgraduate Institute for Medicine
cell 855-782-2356

Martha Montemayor is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and General Manager at Healthy Choices Unlimited.  Healthy Choices offers a medical cannabis evaluation services, with clinics in Denver, the Central Rockies, I-70 corridor, southwest Colorado, and the Western Slope.  Http://

Martha Montemayor, CNC
Conference Coordinator
cell 303-618-1774

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Carla Adams, Medical Marijuana Registry 303-692-2184


SOURCE Todd Mitchem Cannabis Consultants
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