By Cassandra Dowell
This year’s annual My Compassion Cannabis Conference in Chicago brought together advocates, vendors and prospective medical marijuana patients during a three-day event focused on education and networking.
The second annual medical forum and exposition, which took place from July 23 to July 25, 2015, at Navy Pier, tackled topics including cannabis’ role in health care; medical cannabis and Illinois law; the many benefits of hemp; cooking with cannabis; and more. Medical marijuana patients also discussed the positive impact the medicine has had on their lives.
In Illinois, of the 3,200 completed patient registry applications, 2,600 have been approved and are medically eligible to buy marijuana for treatment, but the state hasn’t issued cards yet and the growing centers have just begun to raise their crop, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The event was hosted by My Compassion, a nonprofit organization founded by patients “who have witnessed the positive effects of Cannabis on conditions such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and many other life impairing conditions,” according to the organization’s website.
Guest speakers included doctors, lawyers, social scientists and educators, among others. Dr. George E. Anastassov, CEO of AXIM Biotechnologies (OTC: AXIM), discussed cannabinoid delivery innovations, including one of the company’s latest products. The industrial hemp biosciences company recently secured an exclusive license from CanChew Biotechnologies, LLC, to further develop and produce CanChew gum, a patented controlled-release cannabinoid-infused chewing gum—which also caught the attention of local media outlets.
In addition to the medically focused, exhibitors were as varied as the cannabis industry itself, spanning technology, skin care, equipment, the culinary arts and more.
CannaBest Medical, a data-driven mobile app for dosing medical marijuana, made its debut at the conference, having launched in the App Store and on Google Play on July 13. The Indianapolis-based company aims to help medical marijuana patients find the dose regimen that best works for them by analyzing the information users input to create a general dose that is most likely to be appropriate for each symptom.
“Since our app is primarily a guidance tool and support system that helps medical marijuana patients discover and understand their medication, we thought [attending the conference] would be a great way to reach and sign on users,” Eden Henricks, vice president of marketing at CannaBest Medical, told MJINews. “Our company is based in Indianapolis, so reaching out to and getting involved with the medical marijuana patient population and industry is difficult due to our lack of state medical marijuana legislation. Attending the My Compassion Cannabis Conference was a prime opportunity for us.”
While patients were a primary focus for vendors, many products were available that did not require patient certification, such as products containing cannabidiol extracted from hemp. Isodiol’s CBD oil was available for purchase in products including water and skin care treatments. CannaCeuticals, a luxury skin care line, features Isodiol’s CBD oil and was available for visitors to sample.
“CBD has significant anti-aging benefits,” said Sherrie Berry, the United States representative for CannaCeuticals.
Beyond reaching potential patients and CBD consumers, the conference gave business owners an opportunity to network amongst themselves as well.
“I was surprised that along with creating relationships with medical cannabis patients, we created equally strong connections with other businesses, which we hope will lead to partnerships that will increase the value of our app for patients,” Henricks said.