Advocating for medical cannabis is no easy feat, and these organizations are spearheading state, national, and global efforts. The common mission of these nonprofits and trade associations is to educate on the benefits of medical cannabis and create legislative change for businesses, physicians, and qualifying patients.
Check out this comprehensive list by Peninsula Alternative Health in Salisbury, Maryland:
Americans for Safe Access (ASA). This Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit and Americans for Safe Access Foundation “share the mission of ensuring safe and legal access to cannabis...for therapeutic use and research,” according to its website. ASA works with a grassroots base of more than 50,000 members using public education and direct advocacy to affect national change.
In 2016, Maryland contracted with ASA’s Patient Focused Certification program to train the officials tasked with watching over the state’s emerging medical cannabis program. The organization also offered pesticide guidance and accelerated licensing to create safe access for qualifying patients in Maryland.
American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association. This Florida-based membership-driven association focuses on “providing physicians with the resources they need to safely and effectively utilize medical marijuana recommendations as an alternative treatment...for their patients,” according to its website.
The physician advocate outlines practice risks and benefits, educational requirements, compliance issues, and more for those interested in studying this alternative treatment.
National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). Based in Washington, D.C. with an office in Denver, Colorado, NCIA is the only trade association that’s legitimizing the cannabis industry and representing state-sanctioned cannabis-related businesses like Peninsula Alternative Health in Salisbury, Maryland.
“NCIA publicly advocates for the unique needs of the emerging cannabis industry and defends against threats to the legal market for cannabis and cannabis...products.” The organization also “advocates for responsible business practices and corporate accountability in the industry.”
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). NORML is the largest and most recognizable organization that’s advocating for medical cannabis around the world.
The mission of this D.C.-based nonprofit “is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high-quality marijuana that’s safe, convenient and affordable,” according to its website.
In Maryland, the NORML chapter is located in Baltimore. The website provides state-specific information about medical cannabis laws, lawyers, representatives, a congressional scoreboard, and state arrest data. Click here for more.
Society of Cannabis Clinicians (SCC). This nonprofit originated in California as a project of the California Cannabis Research Medical Group to facilitate voluntary medical standards for physician-approved cannabis under state law. Today, its focus is uniting physicians from multiple specialties to educate about the vast medical use of cannabis.
In addition to physicians, the nonprofit welcomes allied professionals, including research and healthcare associates and graduate students who are in an educational program based in cannabinoid medicine.
Check out the SCC’s headline-making letter to The Journal of the American Medical Association that “opposes several key provisions in the ‘model guidelines’ the Federation [of State Medical Boards] wants...state medical boards to adopt” for medical marijuana.
Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. This Elliston, Virginia-based nonprofit “advocates for veterans' rights to access medical cannabis for therapeutic purposes,” according to its website. This organization’s mission is especially focused on using medical cannabis for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a qualifying condition in Maryland.
These organizations are great resources for patients who are thinking about using medicinal cannabis and for physicians who practice this alternative treatment. These nonprofits provide information that could alter the stigma of cannabis through education and advocacy.
To stay up to date on policy changes, medical information, and Peninsula Alternative Health in Salisbury, Maryland, contact our educated team here.