The medical use of marijuana became legal in California in 1996. By the year 2000 about a dozen physicians were focusing their practices on cannabis, and Tod Mikuriya, MD, organized them into the California Cannabis Research Medical Group, a nonprofit. The name was changed to the Society of Cannabis Clinicians in 2005 as physicians from other states began joining.

The SCC was literally the premier group of cannabis medicine specialists. Its goals are to: “Expand knowledge on the medical use of cannabis. Facilitate best practice standards for cannabis consultations.  Study, discuss and make recommendations related to research, practice and policy in the medical use of cannabis.  Recruit medical graduates and healthcare professionals who are willing to recommend cannabis to patients. Maintain and advance the highest possible ideals and service standards regarding education, practice and research in the medical use of cannabis.”

Mikuriya volunteered his time and called on his assistant, John Trapp, to organize meetings and handle other administrative jobs. The current SCC President, Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD, has also volunteered his time, and so have the nine physicians on the Board of Directors. 

The SCC has developed a CME course for physicians and nurses, held quarterly meetings at which cutting-edge researchers share findings, distributed O’Shaughnessy’s and other educational material to patients… But it has long been apparent that in order for the group to meet its ambitious goals, a proficient executive director was needed.  

Introducing Ellen Kuwana, a skilled science communicator with an MS in neuroscience from UCSF, who has been content director for online continuing education projects (CME/CNE) on spirometry, opioids, and pediatric sedation. She is the author or coauthor of more than 200 science articles for researchers and lay audiences.   

The CannMedd conference at UCLA next week will be her introduction to the wonderful world of cannabis science and business. will be making space for the SCC at their table and we’ll have a lean, green O’Shaughnessy’s to distribute. (Actually the banner will be blue.)

The Grateful Fred