The term “social equity" is poorly and inconsistently defined throughout the cannabis industry from state to state, and fails to consider all that creates and ensures equity across a diverse population. The antiquated, academic definition of social equity speaks to justness of social policy, but today equity means (and must mean) so much more. Because of systemic racism and drug prohibition, black and indigenous people have been denied health equity and thus the collective realization of wellbeing. This is why we need policy and regulations - especially as they pertain to cannabis legalization and the regulation of its economy - to be health equity-centric. Today we’ll discuss how we can leverage equity-centric cannabis policy reform, cannabis taxation and use of funds, the greater cannabis economy, and the agricultural, industrial, nutritional, and medicinal innovations of cannabis to actualize health equity for all people beginning with those individuals and communities most impacted by the war on drugs.
The Cannabis Health Equity Movement
Dr. Rachel Knox is a certified Cannabinoid Medicine specialist who received her medical and business degrees from Tufts University after completing her undergraduate studies at Duke. She trained in Family and Integrative Medicine before pursuing additional study in the areas of Functional Medicine, Cannabinoid Medicine, and Endocannabinology - the study of the function, dysfunction and modulation of the most important physiologic system in the human body, the endocannabinoid system.
She is passionate about educating her professional peers and broader public about the safety and effectiveness of Cannabinoid Medicine, the evidence-based clinical integration of Endocannabinology with Cannabinology, the study of the pharmacology of cannabinoids and other cannabimimetic biologics. She further believes that the ECS validates a biopsychosociospiritual model of medicine, and that it provides the biologic evidence for the ancient medical practices that model the same.
As a Cannabinoid Medicine specialist and endocannabinologistwho has counseled several thousand patients in cannabis therapeutics, she has seen first-hand how significant a role cannabis and cannabimimetic modalities play in helping patients reclaim their health and overall sense of wellness, establishing renewed ownership over their lives. She has witnessed her patients safely use cannabis as adjunctive therapy to their conventional treatment plans, to wean from prescription drugs, find relief from the side effects of toxic therapies, or avoid conventional pharmaceuticals altogether.
Dr. Rachel believes that industry-wide engagement is necessary to maintain the highest standards of care and oversight, from seed to use, in the service of providing education and compassionate, wholly informed care to patients everywhere. This passion extends into further educating communities of color in the role cannabis can play in addressing the Minority Health Disparity Gap, and the broader way in which cannabis can impact the physical, spiritual, social, economic and political wellness of these communities.
Dr. Knox is a co-founder of the American Cannabinoid Clinics and ADVENT Academy, medical committee chairperson for the Minority Cannabis Business Association, member of the Cannabis Policy Oversight Team for Portland, OR, board member of NuLeaf Project in Portland, OR, spokesperson for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, certified member of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine, and Chair for the Oregon Cannabis Commission.