Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Executive Director Tracy Gruber announced Appointed 9 members to the recently established Medical Cannabis Policy Advisory Board.
The advisory board will make recommendations to DHHS, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF), and state legislators for policy changes.
“The Medical Cannabis Policy Advisory Committee will be an invaluable resource for patients, health care providers and businesses participating in state medical cannabis programs to make policy change recommendations to state legislatures and state regulators. said Gruber. “We appreciate the willingness of our Board members to participate on this important advisory committee.”
A Medical Cannabis Policy Advisory Board was established during the 2023 General Assembly. House Bill 72 Revisions to Medical Cannabis Governance Approved.
Six of the nine board members were appointed by DHHS Executive Director Tracy Gruber, and the remaining three were appointed by Utah Agriculture and Food Secretary Craig Butters.
Below is a list of officers. (In Utah, qualified healthcare providers [QMP] A doctor giving recommendations. )
Susan Jackson, MPAS, PA-C — Physician Assistant and QMP has been in the state’s medical cannabis program since April 2020. Queen Essence Health & Wellnessshe assisted patients with medical management of pain, hormone replacement, mental health treatments, weight loss, and cosmetic aspects.
Dr. Misty Smith is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Utah School of Pharmacy. She has been a member of the Cannabis Research Review Board (CRRB) since May 2021, and as a basic science researcher in behavioral pharmacology she has more than 20 years of experience, including DEA Schedule I and II-V controlled substances. I hold a license and a Schedule I import permit. She exports a license for the Epilepsy Treatment Screening Program (ETSP) administration site.
Dr. Annalize Keen is a psychiatrist and has been a QMP since May 2021 and a member of the Compassion Utilization Board (CUB) since May 2021. Dr. Keane is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine. In Psychiatry, Adolescent and Child Psychiatry, she evaluates and manages children and adolescent patients.
Desiree Hennessy is president of the Utah Patients Coalition (UPC). This nonprofit aims to help patients make informed health decisions by advocating for legal access to botanical medicines in Utah.
Nanette Berezny is a medical cannabis patient and parent, representing medical cannabis guardians of cannabis dependent children.
Kent Andersen is the Director of Community and Economic Development for Davis County and manages county operations.
Matthew Page is Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Riverside Farms, a licensed cannabis grower and processor. Matthew helped make products available to patients at the state’s first medical cannabis dispensary in March 2020.
JD Lauritzen, aka “Leaf Lawyer” is a lawyer for healthy company, medical cannabis dispensaries. He has expertise in medical cannabis dispensary operations, specifically vertically integrated medical cannabis dispensaries. WholesomeCo is a vertically integrated cannabis company in the state as it also holds a license to grow and process cannabis.
Jimmy Higgs is a state trooper and deputy director of the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS). With more than 24 years of public safety experience, Deputy Commissioner Higgs has held a variety of positions, including Utah Highway Patrol, Officer Protection Officer, and Chief of Police. In his DPS, he oversees his three divisions: the State Bureau of Investigation, the State Information Analysis Center, and the State Crime Lab.
For more information, visit DHHS, Utah. website.