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Ireland: The Global Medical Cannabis Summit: History in the Making

Lizzie McCulloch and Alastair Moore


Tuesday 20 Sep 2016

On 14th September at the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin, international experts from science, policy, campaigning and business backgrounds were brought together to explore emerging new innovations in medical cannabis. Hosted by VolteFace and Help not Harm, and sponsored by Tilray and Leafly, the event was the largest medical cannabis conference ever held in the British Isles and received coverage from the Irish Times.

The conference was kicked off with a segment on the scientific breakthroughs of medical cannabis, chaired by Dr Henry Fisher, Political Director at VolteFace (UK). Presenters included Mike Barnes- Professor of Neurological Rehabilitation at Newcastle University (UK), Dr. Catherine Jacobson- Chief Scientist at Tilray and Dr. Arno Hazekamp- Chief Scientist at Bedrocan (Netherlands).

The day then moved onto the policy makers panel, chaired by Tim Colbourne- Director of Policy, Open Reason (UK). Contributing to the panel were Dr. Ingo Michels- Head of the Office of the Federal Drug Commissioner (Germany), Jind?ich Vobo?il- National Drug Co-ordinator (Czech Republic) and Dr. Ognjen Brborovic- Chairman for Committee for Medical Cannabis (Croatia). The speakers offered an analysis of the opportunities and barriers they faced when their respective countries regulated medical cannabis.

The third panel of the day shifted our focus from policy to campaigning. A diverse range of campaigners shared their stories and experiences of shaping public opinion of medical cannabis. Chaired by Charlo Greene- Founder of the The Charlo Greene Show (USA), the speakers included Steph Serer – Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (USA), Faye Jones – Chief Administrator for United Patients Alliance, Tom Curran – European Coordinator for Exit International (Ireland), Ben Morgan – Comedian, Blogger and Cancer Patient (Ireland), Clark French – Director of United Patients Alliance (UK), Stuart Harper – Political Liaison for the Cannabis Social Clubs (UK) and Sean Carney – Leafly’s European Editor.

After a brief interlude, we then reached the final segment of the day, an industry perspective on medical cannabis. The panel was chaired by Zack Hutson – Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Privateer Holdings, and speakers included Charlo Greene- Founder ofThe Charlo Greene Show & Alaska Cannabis Club (USA), Valerie Corral – Executive Director, Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (USA), Tjalling Erkelens – Chief Executive Officer, Bedrocan (Netherlands), David Schacter – Founder, CannabiScope (Israel), Dr. Shane Morris – Vice President, Quality Assurance and Scientific Affairs, Hydropothecary Inc (Canada) and Joel Stanley – CEO of CW Hemp (USA). We heard how these businesses are embedding themselves in an emerging market and in what direction their industry is heading.

For a more detailed synopsis of the conference, please look out for our legacy pack which will be posted on the VolteFace website in the upcoming weeks.

A special thanks go out to our partner, Help Not Harm and our sponsors, Tilray, Leafly and Bedrocan without whom this event would not have been possible.

The wheels are already in motion for next year’s conference, which we will strive to make even bigger than the first.




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