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Medical Cannabis Speakers

Conference Speakers

Kevin M. Gray, M.D.

Kevin M. Gray, M.D., is Professor and Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Professor of Addiction Sciences in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina.  With a multidisciplinary group of collaborators, Dr. Gray conducts National Institutes of Health supported clinical research, contributing novel advances to treatments for substance use disorders in adolescents and young adults. Dr. Gray is Co-Chair of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Substance Use Committee, serves on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, is a standing member of the National Institutes of Health Interventions to Prevent and Treat Addictions Study Section, is Associate Editor of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, and serves as Chair of the Advisory Committee for the AACAP Physician Scientist Program in Substance Abuse K12 Award program. In addition to maintaining an active clinical practice and research program, Dr. Gray is dedicated to education, providing didactic instruction across training programs and mentoring multiple junior faculty and trainees in clinical research.

Alice P. Mead, J.D., LL.M.

Ms. Mead received her Juris Doctor degree from University of Santa Clara School of Law and her Master of Law degree from Yale. She served for twelve years as an in-house counsel to the California Medical Association (CMA), one of the largest state medical associations in the country.  Prior to that time, Ms. Mead was a litigation associate at a global law firm and an Assistant Professor of Law at Arizona State University College of Law, where she taught courses in constitutional law. Since 1999 she has served as Vice President, U.S. Public Policy and Public Affairs, for GW Pharmaceuticals (and its U.S. subsidiary, Greenwich Biosciences), one of the first companies in the world to develop cannabis-derived medications as prescription products in adherence to modern scientific and regulatory standards for pharmaceutical products. She focuses on domestic and international drug control laws and policy issues.

Christopher Pelic, M.D. Associate Dean for GME and Outreach

Christopher G. Pelic, M.D. is an Associate Dean for GME and Outreach and Telehealth GME Director for the Medical University of South Carolina.  Dr. Pelic has over 14 years of experience in medical education. He assists with the overall physician residency programs for MUSC and with affiliations and GME outreach efforts.  Previously he served as the Clinical Director of Medical Education for all VA hospitals with a special emphasis on Graduate Medical Education (GME), and the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability (VACAA) initiative.  He has served as an Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Career Planning for 7 years and clerkship director for the required psychiatry rotation for medical students.  His clinical work has consisted of inpatient and consultation work and he is boarded in both general adult psychiatry and consultation liaison psychiatry. His work with the brain stimulation division and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Veterans has gained national attention.  Dr. Pelic is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina. 

Prakash Nagarkatti, Ph.D.

Prakash Nagarkatti, Ph.D., serves as the Vice President for Research at the University of South Carolina.  He oversees a $250 million research enterprise across all USC campuses. He also serves as Carolina Distinguished Professor, and Director of several NIH and NSF-funded Research Centers including two NIH Centers that pursue research on Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases.  Since joining USC in 2005, he has secured more than $78 million in research funding. Dr. Nagarkatti has published over 250 scientific papers and book chapters, and has trained more than 100 students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty over the course of his career. Dr. Nagarkatti is internationally known for his research on cannabinoids and his lab was one of the first ones to show that cannabinoids can be used in the treatment of certain cancers and inflammatory diseases.  His research has been highlighted in several media outlets from PBS documentary to BBC News.  He has several patents on cannabinoids and some are under review by FDA for clinical use. 

 

Eileen Konieczny RN

Eileen Konieczny RN has decades of nursing experience specializing in oncology. As a healthcare provider, Eileen has witnessed her patients struggle with a host of side effects associated with their treatment protocols, which significantly reduce their quality of life. Since stumbling upon cannabis in 2008 and learning the science behind the plant, Eileen has helped navigate countless patients through their use of medical cannabis. Combining her personal and professional life experiences Eileen has found the unstoppable calling to advocate for medical cannabis on a state and national level. Advocating for patients, Eileen played an integral part in the passage of medical cannabis legislation in Connecticut (2012) and New York (2014). These legislative wins secured safe access to medical cannabis for over 23 million people. Eileen has served in the leadership of the American Cannabis Nurses Association since 2013, taking on the role of President 2016-2017. She is currently Past President of ACNA and member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Cannabis Specialists. Eileen is the co-founder of two highly-regulated medical cannabis companies on the east coast and remains a strong patient advocate, dedicated to building a patient-tailored therapeutic model for safe, effective, standardized cannabis

Mahmoud A. ElSohly

Mahmoud A. ElSohly is a Research Professor at The National Center for Natural Products Research, and Professor of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery, School of Pharmacy, University of
Mississippi (UM) and is the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Marijuana Project at UM. He is also the President and Laboratory Director of ElSohly Laboratories
Incorporated, an analytical forensic drug testing and a product development laboratory. He received his undergraduate and Masters from Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt and his Ph.D. in 1975
from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy, Pittsburgh, PA. He has been with the University of Mississippi since 1975 and has been the Director of the NIDA Marijuana Project
since 1981. He has over 40 years’ experience working with the isolation of natural products (notably cannabis secondary metabolites), synthetic, analytical and forensic chemistry. He has
more than 30 patents and over 300 publications in these areas of science. Dr. ElSohly is also a member of many professional organizations such as American Society of Pharmacognosy,
American Chemical Society, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Society of Forensic Toxicologist, International Cannabinoids Research Society, International Association of
Cannabinoid Medicines to name a few.

Mark A. Mason

Attorney Mark A. Mason of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina represents the world’s only credit union chartered to serve the booming marijuana and hemp industry in its critical legal battle to bring legitimate banking and financial services to marijuana-related businesses. This project and the nationally important litigation Mr. Mason is handling against the Federal Reserve and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)

Patrick J. McLaughlin

Patrick J. McLaughlin practices law in Florence, South Carolina with the Wukela Law Firm.  He graduated with a BA from the University of South Carolina in 1997 and received his JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2004.  Mr. McLaughlin’s practice focuses on personal injury, wrongful death, civil rights violations and criminal defense.  He is a past-President of the Florence County Bar and the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (SCACDL). He is the founder and current co-chair of SCACDL’s annual Criminal Defense 101 CLE and a board member for Justice 360.  Mr. McLaughlin is NHTSA certified in DUI Detection & SFSTs, Drug Evaluation & Classification/Drug Recognition Expert, and Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement.  He has presented on ethics and trial tactics to legal CLEs and lectured on constitutional and criminal justice issues in academia.  Mr. McLaughlin is admitted to practice in South Carolina, the United States District Court for South Carolina and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Ruth Rauls

Ruth is an employment lawyer who counsels management clients on human resource practices and employment law. Ruth is a member of  Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Labor and Employment practice, and Cannabis Law practice.  She concentrates her practice on employment counseling and litigation. She has extensive experience litigating matters at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal court in New Jersey and New York, as well as in private mediations and arbitrations. She has litigated claims arising under state specific discrimination statutes, as well as federal statues, including Title VII, the ADA and the FMLA. Ruth also counsels and advises clients with legal and practical advice on litigation matters as well as day-to-day issues that affect their business operations. She provides advice to businesses on employment law and counsels employers on preventative practices to minimize workplace disputes.