The Society of Cannabis Clinicians is a nonprofit educational and scientific society of physicians and health care professionals dedicated to the education and research support of cannabis for medical use.
The Society of Cannabis Clinicians (SCC) is a nonprofit professional association of physicians and other healthcare providers. Our mission is to provide continuing education —for ourselves, our patients, and our colleagues — about the medical use of cannabis and best practices in clinical care.
The goals of the Society are as follows:
- To share clinical evidence with colleagues and patients
- To develop and promote best practice standards for cannabis consultations
- To evaluate and recommend policies relating to cannabis research, production, and safety
- To encourage medical graduates and healthcare professionals to discuss cannabis as a treatment option with patients
- To defend and expand physicians’ rights to practice cannabis-based medicine
- To remove impediments to clinical research
In addition to the Mission Statement, the Society of Cannabis Clinicians has adopted the following policy recommendations and positions.
- Patients should be allowed to grow their own cannabis in the quantity sufficient for their medical needs. Whole-plant preparations offer patients more balanced “entourage” effects than single-molecule derivatives. Patients need not fail a trial of traditional pharmaceuticals before a trial of cannabis is initiated.[i]
- All commercial medical preparations should be lab tested for safety (to protect against biologic or chemical contaminants), and potency (cannabinoids and terpenes).
- Any legalization initiative, or law, should include a restorative justice provision restoring full citizenship rights to non-violent individuals convicted under the state’s drug laws. Positive cannabis tests alone should not be used to justify the disruption of parental rights or the family unit. (The disruption of the family unit and incarceration of an individual has far-reaching detrimental health effects on both the individual and the family.)
- Teaching curricula on the endocannabinoid system should be incorporated into the basic training programs of all health professionals, especially by medical schools, residency programs, and CME courses. [ii]
- A portion of the tax revenues from all sales should be allocated for education and research into the medical benefits of cannabis. Taxes on medical cannabis purchases should mirror the taxes on other pharmaceuticals sold within the state.
- States should establish centralized reference laboratories to conduct complete full spectrum cannabinoid and terpenoid analyses of each lot of commercially sold medicinal products. This will allow massive cataloguing, with the possible identification of unique chemovars and the potential to enable better correlation with clinical outcomes.[iii]
The SCC was founded in 1999 by Tod Mikuriya, MD, as the California Cannabis Research Medical Group. This happened three years after voters legalized the medical use of cannabis in California. The group held quarterly meetings in the San Francisco Bay Area where doctors who approved cannabis use by patients shared findings and observations, and discussed legal and political matters.
Dr. Mikuriya died in 2007. Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD, served as SCC President from 2008 through 2018. The current President is Stephen Robinson, MD, and the tradition of quarterly meetings continues (online now).
A 2020 article by SCC member Kevin M.Takakuwa detailed the history of the SCC, which is the first and oldest U.S. medical organization promoting the use of medical cannabis. The paper discusses the impact of SCC Founder Dr. Tod Mikuriya and sheds light on the history of the medical cannabis movement that is largely unrecognized. Read more
The SCC provides continuing education for ourselves, patients, and colleagues about the medical use of cannabis and best practices in clinical care.
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