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Meet the Faculty

The Holistic Cannabis Faculty: Holistic-Minded Health Practitioners

The integrity of what we provide our customers rests squarely on who we are – holistic-minded health practitioners, first & foremost. While other cannabis education programs are available, most are produced by business people who have little or no hands-on client health experience. We are our target audience – health & wellness professionals committed to holistic healing. We’re also seasoned educators & communications experts. We know how to dissect studies & translate findings. We know how to develop curricula that’s timely & practical. Meet our faculty. Connect with us. Learn from us. We look forward to meeting you!

Jessica Baker, LAc, RH

As an acupuncturist, herbalist, aromatherapist, & educator, Jessica Baker’s passion for sharing the messages of plants is reflected in her private practice and teaching. Jessica communicates the value of traditional medicine to healthcare practitioners in her work as a continuing education provider. A faculty member of the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jessica’s life mission is to communicate, educate, & empower.

Philip Blair, MD

US Army retired Colonel Philip Blair is a family physician providing disease management for small business employees in several states. Through Pro Health Advisor & a multidisciplinary team, Blair provides innovative health management by telemedicine to clients in all states. Researching and applying the use of industrial hemp cannabidiol (CBD) in clinical care for patients, Blair and has been sharing his knowledge & experience with health professionals worldwide.

Joseph Cohen, DO

Osteopathic physician Joe Cohen started his career as an OB/GYN working with Native American women in Wyoming as well as the Maori women in New Zealand. Switching gears, Dr. Cohen launched a root cause resolution practice in Boulder called Holos Health. Patient outcomes have been nothing short of astounding when cannabis is combined with a functional medicine approach, eliminating triggers and adding nutritional therapies.

Marcie Cooper, RN, MSN, AHN-BC

Registered nurse Marcie Cooper is board certified as an advance holistic nurse working to bridge the gap between western & holistic medicine. Past board member for the American Cannabis Nurses Association, Marcie founded the Colorado Cannabis Nurses Association. She works as a bedside hospice nurse & a part-time nursing educator. Providing individualized holistic patient care & private consults, Marcie believes that all patients & healthcare providers should be knowledgeable about cannabis therapeutics & the endocannabinoid system.

Anna Coy

Founder of Spirit Fearless Productions, Anna Coy believes that how you breathe is how you live. Her mantra – oxygen increases energy as our life force. Her whole-body breathing series Learn to Breathe has reached individuals in over 25 countries. Anna recommends that breath work with cannabis be incorporated with all healing modalities to help reduce pharmaceutical use. Breathing is a tool to recharge the body & stay connected to one’s source.

Julie Dooley

Julie Dooley, Executive Chef for Starbuds & infused edible consultant for the cannabis & hemp industries since 2009, helps clients create healthy alternatives for infusing with cannabis & hemp, as well as teaching patients how to infuse their own healthful foods. As an individual with celiac disease, avoiding gluten and eating an anti-inflammatory food plan along with cannabis constitutes Julie’s personalized lifestyle plan. Julie proudly serves as a mentor for those entering the cannabis industry & continues to lobby at all levels of government for safe & effective regulations.

Dee Dussault

Founder of Ganja Yoga, Dee Dussault helps people find their bliss through relaxation, mindfulness, & sensuality. As a sexuality coach, Dee has guided thousands of clients across the US & around the world. Ganja Yoga classes are designed for any level & ability, reflecting Dee’s philosophy that everyone can do yoga. Having practiced yoga for over two decades, Dee creates space for freedom, expression, & modification in all of her offerings.

Leah Heise, JD

Leah Heise, JD, Chief Experience Officer of Mission,™ 4Front’s branded chain of medical marijuana dispensaries and past President of Women Grow, the cannabis industry’s largest women’s professional networking organization. Leah has a unique understanding of what it means to be a patient. Having suffered with chronic pancreatitis, an illness that causes intractable pain, malnutrition, & hospitalization, Leah knows firsthand that patients need transparent, safe access to high-quality, tested medication provided to them in an environment where they feel secure, valued, and heard.

Rachel Knox, MD, MBA

Rachel Knox is co-founder of TheCannaMDs & The American Cannabinoid Clinics, as well as medical chair of the Minority Cannabis Business Association. A physician who has counseled several thousand patients in cannabis therapeutics, Dr. Knox has witnessed how cannabis helps patients reclaim health and wellness. She believes in an integrative approach to delivering medical cannabis care that is rooted in evidence-based lifestyle & functional Medicine.

Laura Lagano, MS, RDN, CDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Laura Lagano is the author of The CBD Oil Miracle (St. Martin’s Press) and co-founder and education director of the Holistic Cannabis Academy. Laura’s journey to cannabis was led by her dissatisfaction with what conventional healthcare had to offer her daughter, Isabella Speranza, whose name literally means beautiful hope. As one of a handful of RDNs who has completed the prestigious Institute of Functional Medicine program, Laura integrates her expertise in nutrition, functional medicine, and cannabis in her private practice Laura Lagano Nutrition LLC. She speaks frequently at conferences about the ancient plant, consults with cannabis-related companies, and serves on the advisory boards of medical marijuana dispensaries. One of the first dietitians to work in the media, Laura writes for Kitchen Toke and Holistic Primary Care magazines and has written for or been quoted in the New York Times, Forbes, HuffPost, Stitcher, MerryJane, The Daily Beast, and numerous other media outlets. Laura’s core value system is about nurturing relationships though collaboration to eliminate “cannaphobia” globally.

Martin Lee

Martin Lee is the director of Project CBD, an educational service that focuses on cannabis science & therapeutics. Author Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational & Scientific, Martin is winner of the prestigious James A. Duke Award for Excellence in Botanical Literature from the American Botanical Council. As co-founder of the media watch group FAIR, or Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, Martin penned Acid Dreams & The Beast Reawakens.

Deborah Malka, PhD, MD

A medical doctor with a PhD in molecular genetics, Deborah Malka is a practitioner of integrative holistic medicine with a private practice in California specializing in the integration of medical cannabis in patient treatment plans. Previously, she served as the medical director for a group of cannabis evaluation clinics in California. Having studied both holistic and conventional modalities, Dr. Malka guides her clients on their individual journeys to wellness with a blend of intuitive counseling, energy balancing bodywork, & natural therapies.

Joanna Matson-Tandberg

Ayurvedic Practitioner, Cannabis Consultant, Yoga teacher, & self-healed survivor of a 15-year struggle with Crohn’s disease & degenerative spinal arthritis, Joanna Matson teaches how to balance our modern hectic lifestyle with the practice of living with awareness & mindfulness. She teaches from experience – authentic health & wellness come from the proper balancing of one’s energy with that of nature, and arises both through proper detoxifying practices to cleanse the body, and through proper rejuvenation therapies to nourish the body for balance & longevity. Joanna is the founder and CEO of ZVEDA Botanicals, CBD-rich infused Ayurvedic wellness products, including massage and body oils, bitters, tinctures, salves, and teas.

Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSN, CARN

Registered nurse Mary Lynn Mathre boasts 40+ years of experience as a nurse, specializing in addictions nursing since 1987 & cannabis education since 1990. ML is co-founder & president of Patients Out of Time, a non-profit organization devoted to educating healthcare professionals & the public about therapeutic cannabis. She is the editor of Cannabis in Medical Practice: A Legal, Historical & Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana and co-editor of Women & Cannabis: Medicine, Science & Sociology. ML is also a founding member & past president of the American Cannabis Nurses Association.

Muffy Montemayor, CNC

Certified Nutrition Consultant Martha Montemayor founded Healthy Choices Unlimited, whose physicians and staff has helped over 15,000 patients obtain their Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry cards. As an organizer of Cannabis Clinicians Colorado, Martha spearheads the annual Denver meeting – Marijuana for Medical Professionals. Previously, she served as a clinical nutritionist & product rep for Crayhon Research, a supplement company focusing on brain nutrition.

Regina Nelson, PhD

Regina is Co-Founder of the eCS Therapy Center, as well as founding officer of the Cannabis Patient Network Institute. Both of these organizations are unique, cannabis patient-led & driven organizations. Their collective missions are to build awareness of the endocannabinoid system, promote cannabis as medicine, & champion community-based education. Regina has presented at peer-reviewed conferences hosted by the International Leadership Association, as well as the International Cannabinoid Research Society.

Ezra Parzybok

Ezra Parzybok is a cannabis consultant based in Northampton, MA. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a Master’s degree from Bard College. He is the author of “Cannabis Consulting: Helping Patients, Parents, and Practitioners Understand Medical Marijuana” and runs the website, where he educates on medical cannabis and sells a line of full-spectrum CBD products. His day job is helping cannabis businesses navigate local and state licensing through his cannabis consulting company which he owns with Mark Jarvis. 

Lex Pelger

Lex Pelger’s background is biochemistry and he writes articles and books about the endocannabinoid system. He’s currently Director of Education at CV Sciences and he specializes in explaining the science of CBD to the elderly. He lives in Colorado with his wife Claire and daughter Sofia.

Michele Ross, PhD

Michele Noonan Ross is the author of Vitamin Weed: a 4-Step Plan to Prevent & Reverse Endocannabinoid Deficiency – a guide about how to boost the endocannabinoid system with dietary phytocannabinoids. A proud member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society & Colorado Cannabis Clinicians, Michelle is a co-founder of GreenStone Labs whose mission is to bring new cannabis technologies to market.

Ethan Russo, MD

Ethan Russo, MD, is a board-certified neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher, & Medical Director of PHYTECS, a biotechnology company researching & developing innovative approaches targeting the human endocannabinoid system. Former President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society & former Chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines, Ethan currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the American Botanical Council & the Hemp Industries Association. He is author or co-author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, & books about cannabis.

Tracy Ryan

Tracy Ryan is the CEO of CannaKids, a California based medical cannabis company, and Founder of the 501c3 After her infant daughter’s brain tumor diagnosis in 2013, Tracy dedicated her life to helping patients who suffer from life altering ailments, with a focus on children. Now in full swing with pre-clinical human & humanized mouse model trials with one of the world’s leading cancer immunologists, it’s her mission to not only end the suffering of those inflicted by cancer, but also develop a cure for her daughter.

Steph Sherer

Steph Sherer is Founder & President of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists, and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research, President of the International Cannabis & Cannabinoid Institute, and founding member of the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition. Steph has become the foremost international leader & expert on medical cannabis patient advocacy. Alongside the American Herbal Products Association, she has created the first cannabis industry standards in the areas of distribution, cultivation, analytics, manufacturing, packaging, & labeling.

Donna Shields, MS, RDN

Donna Shields is Co-Founder of the Holistic Cannabis Network, Co-Producer of the Holistic Cannabis Summit, & Director of Business Development for the Holistic Cannabis Academy. Donna’s nutrition & health career has spanned the US Army Medical Corp, product development & health education communicator for major food brands (both as a consultant & on staff), the Culinary Institute of America as faculty member, cookbook author, & freelance food & nutrition writer. Donna’s personal journey with breast cancer led her to explore holistic healing options &, along with her co-founder & colleague Laura Lagano, to develop a holistic-focused online cannabis training platform for health professionals, patients, caregivers, & canna curious consumers. Contributor to The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, Donna is Boulder, CO – the epicenter of start-ups, the natural food world, & the cannabis industry.

Jonathan Treasure, MA, MNIMH

With a Masters in Medical Sciences from Cambridge University & a degree in herbal medicine, Jonathan Treasure boasts a clinical practice for individuals with cancer centered on botanical medicine & nutrition. His dual expertise in traditional herbal therapeutics combined with a fluency in biomedical science offers a transdisciplinary perspective, exemplified by the acclaimed collaborative medical textbook Herb, Nutrient & Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications & Therapeutic Strategies.

Roy Upton, RH, DAya

Registered Herbalist & Diplomat of Ayurveda Roy Upton is the founder, executive director, & editor of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, as well as past president of the American Herbalists Guild, advisory board member of Association of Official Analytical Chemists International, the American Botanical Council, & NSF International (a public health & safety organization). Roy edited the AHP Cannabis Therapeutic Compendium, which provides a comprehensive review of the therapeutics & safety of cannabis. As part of your Holistic Cannabis Academy registration, you’ll receive a copy of the monograph.

Kate Welch, PharmD, IACP

Kate Welch is a compounding pharmacist who practices in Portland, Oregon. She obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University/Oregon Health Sciences University.  Also a practicing herbalist with an interest in the science of botanical medicine, Dr. Welch is a member of the American Herbalists Guild & the American Botanical Council. She has completed advanced training in compounding pharmacy as well as in botanical medicine & in the pharmacology of essential oils. In addition, Dr. Welch currently advises Oregon medical marijuana program cardholders, their growers, & caregivers about safe & optimal preparation & use of cannabis-based medicines.