Former Health Dept. principal deputy commissioner will talk cannabis benefits at Wednesday networking event – NJ.com
In a recent guest column published in NJ Cannabis Insider, Jackie Cornell a former principal deputy commissioner at the state Department of Health, shared her insight on what she sees as priorities for cannabis in 2020.
Cornell, who joined Colorado-based cannabis edibles company 1906 as its chief of policy & health innovations, will be among the featured speakers at NJ Cannabis Insider’s nearly sold-out networking event in Red Bank this Wednesday.
With less than 300 days until Election Day — when New Jersey voters will decide whether recreational cannabis should be legal — insiders have been identifying key priorities that should be implemented before likely legalization by early 2021. For Cornell, it’s been about better understanding the cannabis plant’s benefits for medical patients.
“My career was first anchored by a different mantra, one you’ve likely heard if you follow the political football of the Affordable Care Act: ‘Patients have a right to high quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare,’” she wrote in her NJCI guest article. “It was this foundational belief that health care is a human right which drew me to 1906 specifically, and the untapped possibilities in cannabis more broadly.”
She points to the data as a motivator to continue promoting cannabis as medicine, citing these three numbers:
“Numbers don’t lie,” she says, adding that with cannabis, “we have an opportunity to tackle so many of the conditions that plague us – opioid use disorder, chronic pain, anxiety. Clinicians lament that additional research is needed.”
Cornell points out that with its medical marijuana expansion program, the Murphy administration has signaled it was taking cannabis research seriously, too. The Jake Honig Act created clinical registrant permits in order for four academic medical centers in New Jersey could partner with cannabis companies to lead in research.
And yet, she says this opportunity has been delayed because the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, also created through the new law to have oversight of the permits has not been appointed. As New Jersey readies itself for the adult-use market by this time next year, she says more research on the self-medication practices of “recreational” consumers needs to be address now.
“The current 60,000-plus medical marijuana patients may suffer even more dramatic supply shortages when adult-use cannabis comes online,” she says, adding that next month 1906 will start recruiting patients for a sleep study in Colorado. “In the absence of federal funding, the cannabis industry needs to step up and do the work ourselves. I want other companies to join us and I want to tackle important research right here in my home state.”
This is why she says she and others have been urging the state to seat the cannabis commission so it can that additional licenses could be made available sooner than later.
At the Wednesday meetup, Cornell will be joined by state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, an advocate of medical marijuana expansion and legalization via ballot, and Fruqan Mouzon, a leading cannabis attorney and the former general counsel for the state Senate Majority
Click here for more details and to purchase tickets for the Jan. 15 meetup.
NJ Cannabis Insider also opened early-bird registration to its spring live event on March 10 at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison. Featuring the state’s leading voices on all things cannabis, all previous events have sold out to capacity.
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This article originally appeared here in https://www.nj.com/marijuana/2020/01/former-health-dept-principal-deputy-commissioner-will-talk-cannabis-benefits-at-wednesday-networking-event.html