Meet the team
IACM PATIENT COUNCIL
SPAIN – DOSEMOCIONES
Carola is the director of the Dos Emociones (Two Emotions) project and of the Spanish Observatory of Medicinal Cannabis, two pioneering organizations in Spain fighting for the regulation of medicinal cannabis and for the improvement of the quality of healthcare. Behind these two ambitious projects, which are currently spearheading a renewed movement for the regulation of therapeutic cannabis, is Carola’s personal story. The story of a struggle and of personal achievement which, in the purest style of the “butterfly effect”, triggered these two projects. Carola has been able to transform an unfortunate accident and all the suffering it has caused into two initiatives that are now actively contributing towards improving the lives of many patients.
GREECE – MAMAKA
Jacqueline Poitras is the founder of ‘MAMAKA- Mothers for Cannabis’, an association for medical cannabis patients where she advises and gives support to patients daily. She is the mother of a young woman with Aicardi Syndrome and had been an advocate in the disability movement in Greece for much of her daughter’s life before discovering the therapeutic benefits of cannabis in 2013. She has played a leading role in cannabis policy changes in Greece and has repeatedly met with members of the Ministry of Health and the Greek government in her efforts to promote free access to cannabis for patients all over Greece. She has spoken at many events worldwide including the European Parliament and currently is the Vice-President of Medicinal Cannabis Europe.
GERMANY – IACM
Franjo Grotenhermen completed his medical studies and received his doctorate in Cologne. His fields of practice included internal medicine, surgery and naturopathy. He runs a medical practice in Steinheim (Westphalia) with a focus on therapy with cannabis and cannabinoids. Grotenhermen is the managing director of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Cannabis als Medizin e.V. (ACM) (since 1997), executive director of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) (since 2000) and author of the IACM Bulletin, which is published fortnightly in several languages on the IACM website. Grotenhermen is an employee of the Cologne-based nova Institute, co-owner of Endoxo GmbH (founded in 2019), a company that produces CBD and other hemp products. He is a member of the scientific advisory board of the journals Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, edited by Prof. Daniele Piomelli at the publishing house Mary Ann Liebert, and of the scientific advisory board of Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, edited by Prof. Rudolf Brenneisen at the Karger publishing house. He is honorary president of the Union Francophone pour les Cannabinoïdes en Médecine (UFCM).He received the following awards: Hemp Award 1999 from Cannabusiness, IACM 2011 Special Award, ICBC 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, Robert Newman Memorial Award 2018 from Akzept e.V., Honorary Award GFS-Award 2021 from Gemeinnützige Forschungsvereinigung Saluplanta e.V.
PORTUGAL – APCANNA
With a degree in Nursing from Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra in 2015, Soraia Tomás worked in the intensive care unit of cardiothoracic surgery and lung transplantation in Lisbon.In 2020 she obtained a graduate degree in GMP’s for Medicinal Cannabis, a course held by the Portuguese Observatory of Medicinal Cannabis in partnership with the Military Laboratory of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Products and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon.Specialist in Pain Control she’s currently working in an intensive care unit and providing counseling and nursing supervision to medicinal cannabis patients.President of APCANNA – Portuguese Association for Information about Cannabis, a non-profit association, formed in 2020, whose main mission is the dissemination of reliable information about the cannabis plant in all its aspects, being a representative voice of the Portuguese community and its interests.
SWITZERLAND – MEDCAN
Simón Winistörfer is vice president of the association. MEDCAN pursues the goal of ensuring that patients in Switzerland have legal access to cannabis without a great deal of bureaucracy and can use it medicinally in tested quality and at reasonable prices. We organize patient meetings in various Swiss cities: We provide information about the effects and use of cannabis and give patients the opportunity to exchange ideas with other affected people. We are also involved on a political level. We advocate for cannabis regulation and demand that cannabis for medical use be paid for by health insurance. Simón has a professional apprenticeship as a receptionist and then studied hospitality management in Lucerne. In the military he was trained as a paramedic and nurse. He has been living with the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis since 2011. After an initially very aggressive course, he is currently able to control it with immunotherapy. He treats the many side effects of his disease with cannabis. His efforts for legal access for medical use have been unsuccessful so far. Since Simón has only little spasticity, the health insurance does not cover any costs.
MARIAN HUTTEN DE BRUIJN
NETHERLANDS – PGMCG
Marian Hutten is the founder of Patient Group Medical Cannabis Users PGMCG, an association for medical cannabis patients where she advises and gives support to patients daily. She is the mother of two daughters and three grandchildren. Married with Serge de Bruijn who is also the secretary of PGMCG and also supports patients every day. She uses medical cannabis for fibromyalgia, osteoperos, chronical pain, COPD and artrose and has been an advocate in the Netherlands for the use of medical cannabis since 2014. She has played a leading role in cannabis policy changes in the Netherlands and has repeatedly met with members of the Ministry of Health in her efforts to promote free access to cannabis for patients all over the Netherlands and have an exception in traffic. She and Serge have with their organization the permission of the major to grow medical cannabis at home for more than 5 years now. Time that the rest of the Netherlands als may grow their own.
PERU- CANNABIS DE ESPERANZA
Actress, communicator and patient activist for the decriminalization of cannabis and drugs in general. Founder of Cannabis Gotas de Esperanza (now Cannabis de Esperanza) Co-Founder of the medical practice “CannaHope”.Member of the IACM Patient Council, honorary member of the SBEC (Brazilian society for cannabis studies). Member, internal coordinator and coordinator of risk and harm reduction activities of Soma (“Las drogas como son”).Member of LANPUD (Latin American and Caribbean Network of people who use drugs). Former head of political advocacy and president of Fecame (Federation of medicinal cannabis)International speaker.Member of the team that worked on the regulation of the current law (30681).She currently has a claim accepted by the judiciary against the Ministry of Health for denying her personal cultivation. Co-author of the bill for personal cultivation and association presented by (Fecame and CDE).
ITALY- COMITATO PAZIENTI CANNABIS MEDICA
Luca Lecca, cannabis blogger, communicator, patient activist for the decriminalization of cannabis in Italy. Author and regional referent of the non-profit association Comitato Pazienti Cannabis Medica (medical cannabis patients committee and coordinator of the Users of the Mental Health Services of the A.S.A.R.P. (Sardinian Association for the Implementation of the Psychiatric Reform). Luca is currently developing, thanks to the patronage of Confcommercio and the metropolitan city of Cagliari, he is creating a cannabis based association to facilitate the access of disadvantaged people to the labor market and to offer services to companies and associations committed to various title in the cannabis field with special regard to the communicative-medical field.
MEXICO – CANNATIVA
PhD in Social Anthropology from the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH). Co-Founder and director of the Civil Association CANNATIVA A.C (Association of multidisciplinary studies of medicinal plants and entheogens. Researcher, activist, feminist, educator, workshop and international lecturer. Writer and producer of multimedia content. Part of the motor group of the Latin American Network of Cannabis Women (RELAMUCA) and the Cannabis Documentary. With more than a decade of conducting research on cannabis communities in Latin America and decolonial feminisms. He has participated as a workshop, lecturer in forums, events and seminars in: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, USA, Uruguay and Mexico. Editor, writer and content producer of the transmedia platform CANNATIVA AC. Collaborator of the cannabis culture magazines: Hemp and Haze. Co-founder of the Latin American Network of Cannabis Women (RELAMUCA) and part of the driving group of the documentary Cannabis, Jury of cannabis cups (Mexico, Colombia).
USA – VMCA
A disabled United States Air Force Veteran [Sergeant, 1981 -1986]. Michael Krawitz serves as Executive director of Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access [VMCA] as well as other board and advisory roles. After California’s historic Proposition 215 Michael observed that cannabis used as a palliative adjunct pain treatment to opiates not only produced better pain relief but also significantly lowered the number of pain pills used. Leading VMCA, Michael successfully negotiated the first ever VA medical cannabis policy in 2010 and has since overseen the WHO ECDD Critical Cannabis Review process in Geneva and then theUnited Nations process on the WHO cannabis recommendations. The vote on 2 December 2020 United Nations – Vienna, Austria successfully removed Cannabis and Cannabis Resin from the Single Convention treaty “most dangerous drug category”.
AUSTRIA – ARGE CANNA
The non-governmental, non-profit, free association ARGE CANNA was founded in 2014 by chronicly ill and severely incapacitated patients who benefit from cannabis, to improve their legal situation. It is today Austria’s leading cannabis patients’ advocacy, strictly health-, medical- and patient-oriented, offering knowledge, advice and scientific expertship. In 2016 the “AC drop”, a seal of quality approval for cannabinoid products, was launched, based on laboratory analyses certificates processed and overlooked independently by ARGE CANNA. Klaus Hübner is a board member and also the association’s press spokesperson and finance supervisor. Main goals of the association are: Make natural products like cannabis flower, resin and extract legal to get via doctor’s prescription, pharmacy and health insurance covering the cost. Allow patients to grow their own cannabis under their doctors’ supervision. Create a network of distribution for cannabis obligated to ongoing scientific monitoring of product quality, amount of intake and health of patients.
UK – PLEA
I am a committed volunteer, and both sit on the management committee and act as the community lead for PLEA, a non-profit community interest company established to challenge the inequalities in access to cannabis-based medicinal products.
BRAZIL – SANTA CANABIS
President of Santa Cannabis, Activist and Entrepreneur, co-founder of Fact (Federação das Associações do BR), columnist on the Sechat website and in Cannadouro Magazine and creator of RadioHemp.com and Cannabis Affair.
CYPRUS – FRIENDS OF CANNABIS
Sue Scandale is a founding member of the Friends of Cannabis association (Φίλοι της Κάνναβης) in Cyprus.The organization was founded in 2013 with the goals of:• Affecting a change in attitudes towards cannabis through public awareness campaigns and media presence;• Education and training of patients, professionals and caregivers for medical cannabis;• Legalizing the use of cannabis through court cases and participation in the drafting of legislation;• Supporting patients’ access to cannabis medicines and providing support for appropriate use.Sue has been an activist for the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis for 35 years, first in the US, and currently in Cyprus. Her appreciation of the therapeutic value of cannabis came through her own experience of using cannabis to recover from addictions, as well as to overcome anxiety and insomnia. Sue holds a Masters degree in Chinese Medicine, and practices Natural Medicine, including acupuncture andherbalism in Nicosia, Cyprus.She was one of the first few people who in the 1980’s began to rediscover how to make cannabis medicinals according to official pharmacopoeias and science-based herbal formulas, and explore novel ways to use them. Part of her work includes providing support, knowledge,direction and overseeing the medical use of cannabis by patients with varying forms and degrees of illness or injury.