Medical Cannabis Summit Agenda and Speakers2019-05-10T11:24:20-04:00

Conference Agenda

Time & Topic


8:30-9:30 a.m

Welcome and Note address
Medical Cannabis – what have we learned so far and what is still needed for patients?


  • Barinder Rasode, CEO Grow Tech Labs
  • Jenna Valleriani, CEO NICHE
  • Andre Picard, Globe and Mail Medical Writer


Interactive panel discussion
Facilitating the “cannabis” talk with your patients.

  • Panel Speakers:
  • Phillip Millar, LLP (moderator)
  • Carolyn Khan, RPh Pharm, Owner Queen Lynch Pharmacy
  • Jeeshan Persaud, MD  CCFP Wise Elephant Family Health
  • Gerald Major, President & CEO Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana
  • Dr. Shamila Kamalanathan MD, CCFP, ABFM

10:45-11:15 a.m

  • Health Break

11:15-11:45 a.m

Medical cannabis in clinical practice 
Strains and terpenes- what’s all the hype?

  • Alexzander Samuelsson, Lead Chemist, Nextleaf Solution

11:45-12:30 p.m

  • Networking Lunch / Exhibitors

12:30-3:15 p.m

Medical cannabis in clinical practice 

  • The role of cannabis and other therapies in mitigating the opioid crisis
  • Cannabinoid Therapy in the Elderly: Practical Applications & Considerations
  • EMR charting for medical cannabis patients
  • The role of medical cannabis clinics

  • Jagdeep Singh Gupta, MD CCFP Cloud Care Clinics
  • Blake Pearson, MD MCFP Rapids Family Health Team
  • Darren Larsen, MD CCFP, OntarioMD
  • Sanjeev Goel, CCFP (PC), Spark Cannabis
  • Stephanie Karasick, Strainprint

3:15-3:45 p.m

  • Health Break

3:45-4:45 p.m

Cannabis Genetics
New Advances in Cannabinoid Metabolic Phenotyping – how does it inform clinical practice?

  • Philip Britz-McKibbin, PhD, McMaster University

4:45-5 p.m

Closing Remarks

  • Mel Panchal, RBh BScPhm, CEO Pure Global Cannabis and PureSinse Inc.

5:00-6:30 p.m

Wine and Cheese Reception

  • Music by Simon Arruda

Philip Britz-McKibbinz

Philip Britz-McKibbin, PhD

Philip Britz-McKibbin is a Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Cystic Fibrosis Canada Researcher based at McMaster University. Prior to starting his current position, he completed his doctorate research with David D.Y. Chen at the University of British Columbia (2000) followed by a visiting lecturer position at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in USA (2001) and a post-doctoral fellowship with Shigeru Terabe at Himeji Institute of Technology in Japan (2003). His research interests in bio-analytical chemistry and metabolomics include the design of new analytical strategies to quantify and identify metabolites and drugs in biological samples using innovative separation, mass spectrometric and bioinformatic tools. Philip’s laboratory aims to discover new biochemical markers that support early detection and treatment of human diseases relevant to population health and precision medicine.

Dr. Sanjeev Goel

Dr. Sanjeev Goel, MD, FCFP(PC) CAFCI

Dr. Goel is currently the Lead Physician for the Wise Elephant Family Health Team and a Coroner for the Region Of Peel. He is the Medical Director of Spark Medicine, a medical cannabis clinic providing access to medical cannabis across Canada. He is also the Chief Medical Officer for PureSinse Inc, a Licenser Producer of Medical Cannabis who mandate is to advance medicinal cannabis science. With advanced training in Anti-Aging, Integrative and Regenerative Medicine, he advocates a healthy lifestyle centered around plant based diet, focused physical activity and enhancing mental resilience. Dr. Goel believes that patients should have access to the best medical and health technologies to meet their personal goals and needs.

Dr. Jagdeep Gupta

Dr. Jagdeep Gupta, MD CCFP

Dr. Gupta believes in holistic healing, taking the whole person into consideration when treating complex pain conditions. Using an integrative approach to treatment allows him to minimize side effects and focus on improving quality of life of each patient.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Simon Fraser University and a Medical Degree from the University of British Columbia. He is trained in Chronic Pain Management through the Wasser Pain Clinic and Toronto Poly Clinic, as well as Palliative Care at Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Gupta is a proud member of the International Association for the Study of Pain, Canadian Pain Society, Canadian Association of Orthopedic Medicine, British Columbia Medical Association, Ontario Medical Association, College of Family Physicians of Canada, American Academy of Family Physicians, and Canadian Medical Association.

Stephanie Karasick Strainprint

Stephanie Karasick, Chief Creative Officer and Founder, Strainprint

Stephanie was born and raised in the suburbs of Montreal, and left shortly after getting her degree in Graphic Design. She moved to Toronto, working as a copywriter at Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, JWT, Taxi, and MacLaren McCann over a span of 15 years. Somewhere in that time, she began studying photography, left the corporate world to work as an editorial and family photographer, and a mom. The idea for Strainprint came to her after her first few months of using medical cannabis, when she was noticing how little information and scientific validation there was on various treatments.

Carolyn Khan

Carolyn Khan, RPh Pharm

Ms. Khan is an accomplished and dedicated pharmacist, who has been in community practice for nearly 30 years. She is the owner of Queen Lynch Pharmacy and has taken on the role of lead pharmacist for the Wise Elephant Family Health Team and the North Peel Family Health Team, where she has been instrumental in implementing and evolving comprehensive structured smoking cessation programs. Carolyn is committed to the development of future pharmacists and is currently a Capstone Clinical Preceptor for University of Waterloo and Seneca College students undertaking pharmacy technician studies. Over the years, she has served as a Preceptor for University of Toronto students, as well as international candidates and graduates completing summer studentships and licensing requirements. Carolyn has been recognized by her peers and been awarded the prestigious Ontario Pharmacist Association Pharmacist of the Year Award, both in 2014 and 2019.

Dr. Darren Larsen

Dr. Darren Larsen, MD, CCFP, MPLc

Over his twenty six years as a comprehensive care Family Physician, Darren has been involved in many provincial and national Health Information Technology, Quality and Leadership initiatives.  He has advised and acted in this space for OntarioMD, Joule, the Ontario Medical Association, and the Canadian Medical Association, He serves on multiple digital health, primary care and quality committees for Health Quality Ontario, eHealth Ontario and Cancer Care Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.  He is currently serving as the vice chair of the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario and a senior fellow at WIHV  (Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care). His interests in this space include data analytics, measurement for quality improvement and accountability, physician change and issues of scale and spread.

Dr. Shamila Kamalanathan MD, CCFP, ABFM

Holding certifications from both the American Board of Family Medicine as well as the Canadian College of Family Physicians, Dr. K (as she is affectionately referred to by her patients) practices full-spectrum, comprehensive Family Medicine in Richmond Hill, Ontario. While she herself has little experience in the field of Medical Cannabis, Dr. K brings to our panel the perspective of a ‘front-line’ physician who has seen both the benefits and the detriments of marijuana use, in a wide variety of clinical and non-clinical settings, over the past several years. With the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life of patients, Dr. K is excited to be part of today’s discussion.

Gerald Major

Gerald Major

Gerald Major is a medical cannabis patient, a staunch chronic illness advocate and an arthritis survivor. Gerald’s Arthritis took him out of full-time employment 8 years ago when he was the Senior Vice President of Operations for Citibank Hedge Fund Services North America. Since then, he’s become the President of the Canadian Spondylitis Association, President and CEO of Canadians for Fair Access to Medicinal Marijuana, board member and consumer group chair of the Arthritis Alliance of Canada, Best Medicine Coalition board member, and a member of Ontario Best Practice Research Initiative patient advisory committee.

Phillip Millar

Phillip Millar, LLP

Phillip Millar is a pioneer in Canada for Medical Cannabis. Phillip is at the forefront of a leading industry by being the CEO for Medical Marijuana Consulting, owning a Licensed Producer facility, and being the President for Canadian Operations for Golden Leaf Holdings. Phillip was also a former Combat Officer who served for Canada for over a decade. Later in life, Phillip also became a lawyer, former prosecutor, and defence attorney. Phillip brings a refreshing approach to the Marijuana industry as he not only has the first-hand experience from growing to selling marijuana but also has extensive knowledge of policies and laws both domestically and internationally. Throughout his experiences, Phillip has personally witnessed many of the mistakes and lessons learned when introducing medical marijuana to the general masses. Phillip is happy to share his learnings with other members of the marijuana community within other jurisdictions.

Mel Panchal

Mel Panchal, RPh, BScPhm

Malay Panchal is a seasoned serial-entrepreneur with 20+ years experience in pharma B2B technology, retail and mail-order pharmacy, pharma branding and clinical trials. He has been a licensed pharmacist for over 20 years and currently serves as the CEO of Pure Global Cannabis and its Health Canada-licensed subsidiary PureSinse Inc.

Dr. Jeeshan Persaud

Dr. Jeeshan Persaud is a family physician practising at the Wise Elephant Family  Health Team in Brampton since 2012 . He completed his Medical Doctorate and Residency in Family Medicine at McMaster University. He has a special interest in hypertension and metabolic syndrome and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. He has been involved in the clinical application of Cannabinoids since 2014  and is a  member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, The American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association, and part of the Advisory Board for the Clinical Cannabinoid Education Network.

Dr. Blake Pearson

Dr. Blake Pearson, MD MCFP

Blake Pearson, M.D. is a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and a board-certified family physician in the U.S. He is a practicing family physician who has focused his practice on cannabinoid medicine and has treated thousands of patients with range of complex conditions including chronic pain, M.S., sleep disorders, migraine, and chemotherapy-induced nausea & vomiting, among others. Most recently, he has been specializing in cannabinoid therapies in long-term elder care settings, with a focus on improved end-of-life and palliative care.

Dr. Pearson is also a passionate educator and spends much of his free time training and educating policymakers, organizations and fellow medical professionals around the world, through his educational company, Greenly Medical Consulting (, where he serves as President and Chief Medical Advisor.

André Picard

André Picard is the health columnist at The Globe and Mail and the author of five books, including Matters of Life and Death: Public Health Issues in Canada, and The Path to Health Care Reform: Policies and Politics. He also has a large Twitter following at @picardonhealth.

André has received much acclaim for his writing, including the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism and the Centennial Prize of the Pan-American Health Association, awarded to the top health journalist in the Americas. He is also an eight-time finalist for the National Newspaper Awards – Canada’s version of the Pulitzer Prize.

Barinder Rasode

Barinder Rasode

Home grown social influencer Barinder Rasode’s quintessential advocacy for Canadian values is nationally renowned. Her leadership, mastery of complex subjects and innovation guides a plethora of issues that impact the everyday life of Canadians. A strong believer in creating cohesion and synchronicity, Barinder leads by example to propel a team’s natural strengths to levels of exceptionality that help shape objectives, narratives and discourse. Currently, Barinder is the CEO of Grow Tech Labs. Based in Vancouver Grow Tech Labs will reaffirm British Columbia (BC)’s status as a global cannabis capital by attracting a new and diverse generation of sector leaders from across Canada and around the world through the delivery of world class programs that are rooted in innovation, entrepreneurship and mentorship. She founded National Institute of Cannabis Health and Education (NICHE) to promote evidence-based research and education about cannabis.

Alex Samuelsson

Alexzander Samuelsson

Alexzander Samuelsson is lead chemist in research and development at Nextleaf Solutions helping to develop, validate, and innovate the process of efficiently extracting cannabis into oils and concentrates. He has developed a career over the last three years in the medical cannabis industry through his company DevCat Consulting working with dispensaries, licensed producers, industry stakeholders, and various media outlets on contracts ranging from technical SOPs and industry advising, to writing on the science of cannabis under the moniker “Alex The Chemist”. Alexzander holds a BSc. in Chemistry from Ryerson University and has focused his background toward innovation, research, and education in the medical cannabis industry after discovering first-hand the medical benefits of cannabis. His passion for cannabis education has brought him across the country discussing the science of cannabis in podcasts, media interviews, and presenting both private and public to audiences from the canna-curious, technical researchers, and C-level executives to everyone in between.

Jenna Valleriani

Dr. Jenna Valleriani

Dr. Jenna Valleriani is the CEO of the NICHE, a national nonprofit focused on the development of evidence-based public policy, cannabis research and community engagement. She recently completed a Post Doctoral Fellowship at the BC Centre on Substance Use and the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. Jenna holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, has published multiple manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and created one of the first Canadian-focused cannabis policy courses in Canada at the University of Toronto from 2014-2016. She is also on the advisory board for Grow-Tech Labs, and a Strategic Advisor for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, leading the development of their Sensible Youth Cannabis Education Toolkit. She was invited as an expert witness to the Senate of Canada regarding Bill C-45, The Cannabis Act, and has participated in cannabis policy reform efforts globally. Jenna’s public commentary on cannabis policy in Canada has been featured in over 100 national and international media outlets, including CBC Power and Politics, Publimetro México and the Globe and Mail, winning Author of the Year at Lift & Co.’s Canadian Cannabis Awards four years in a row.

Simon Arruda

Simon Arruda, Musician

Simon Arruda is a solo artist working in the Greater Toronto Area who is providing music services for the wine and cheese reception at CCEN2019.  He studied music at York University and has performed in a variety of events as part of ensembles and as a solo musician. His influences include Lenny Breau, John Coltrane, Ed Bickert, Ralph Towner, Pat Metheny, and Brian Katz. Simon is happy to announce that his album ‘Dreamscape‘ is digitally released on all major streaming services and online retailers.

Simon will be providing the music during the wine and cheese reception at CCEN 2019.