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UVM Cannabis Experts to Participate in Online Speaker Series

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The University of Vermont is organizing a free, online cannabis speaker series featuring five academic experts in medicine, botany, business, and policy.

The series, presented by UVM Continuing and Distance Education and the UVM College of Medicine, will be May 25, June 8, June 22, and July 13. Featured speakers—all from UVM—include Monique McHenry, PhD, Karen Lounsbury, PhD, Kalev Freeman, MD, PhD, Wolfgang Dostmann, PhD, and Willy Cats-Baril, PhD.

“We strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information to the public regarding the safety and effectiveness of medical cannabis as treatment for a variety of symptoms,” said Lounsbury, a UVM professor of pharmacology who co-directed Pharmacology 200: Cannabis Past, Present and Future (PHRM 200)—the first medical school cannabis course of its kind in the nation.

UVM Continuing and Distance Education and the College of Medicine decided to explore cannabis education in 2015 with a one-day webinar, which drew more than 100 participants. This year, both have partnered to establish programs in Cannabis Science and Medicine Program, which includes PHRM 200, as well as professional certificates and other lectures.

“Cannabis and medical marijuana laws in this country are evolving, and it’s paramount that we continue to have an informed and engaged discussion in the community,” said UVM Continuing and Distance Education Dean Cynthia Belliveau, EdD. “As the land grant university in the state, UVM has a role in facilitating a sophisticated and informed dialogue about this important topic. With so much information out there, we want the public to have the opportunity for a balanced and educated conversation.”

While the Vermont Legislature decided against legalizing marijuana this month, Belliveau said the general public should be well informed about the evolving dynamics in Vermont and around the country. “We want to reach a broad audience both across Vermont and the country,” she said. “There is much to learn from states that are ahead of the curve as well as from our own experience right here in Vermont.”

The webinar is free and open to the public. Click here for more information and to register.

-Jennifer Nachbur of the UVM College of Medicine contributed to this story.