We’ve spoken to medical professionals, dispensary owners, and reviewed the role that the many facets of the cannabis industry can play in creating a patient-centered engagement event that informs, educates, and empowers.
For this part of our series we spoke with two patients who are using medical cannabis for their unique and specific condition as transplant recipients. Many of the concerns we heard from these patients that would directly impact how an event or conference of this type would be formed include:
- How would a conference or event speak specifically to my medical condition, and the complications that surround it? And further, what about the complications that come with using medical cannabis? And how do I need to properly consume it relative to my medical condition?
- There are many false conceptions about being a transplant recipient , and because of this misinformation there is a great deal of work that needs to be done about making people aware of the realities of the day to day life of both transplant recipients, and organ donors.
- How would the cannabis industry engage us specifically and uniquely, while also touching on the needs that our community shares with patients of other types that use medical cannabis (or are looking to begin using it to provide therapeutic relief)?
- Within groups and communities of individuals that share specific medical conditions, needs, and histories (in relation to medical cannabis use or otherwise) – there are going to be different perspectives on the medical cannabis industry based on generational viewpoints and experiences. How would that be addressed? And would there be speakers, topics, and events tailored to these varied experiences?
- Event organizers should know that there aren’t any stereotypes in regards to this medicine and who utilizes it for treatments – medical cannabis crosses a multitude of ages, cultures, socioeconomic statuses, and genders. The marketing used to promote the events as well as the vendors selected to engage patients should reflect this.
- Keynotes and presentations that not only talk about the benefits of the medicine, but also what to watch out for in terms of possible interactions with other medicines or how specific medical conditions can impact medical cannabis ingestion/consumption methods.
There will be potential patients that come to these events or conferences having a cursory understanding of the medicine’s potential, one that has been tempered by misinformation or the existing stigma surrounding medical cannabis. They will be looking for up-to-date, research-based information alongside compassionate engagement. These potential patients, who may be seeking to use cannabis based on its ability to ease the side effects of fibromyalgia, cancer, multiple sclerosis and a wide range of other debilitating diseases – are just looking for support and comfort, not judgment or a list of what not to do (both of which can be obtained elsewhere).
One of the original questions that we asked during the beginning of this blog series was, “Is it possible to have a conference or nationally recognized event that has a successful mixture of lifestyle, business, and academic themed content and exhibitors? Or are the audiences and their interest too different?”
In speaking with several different groups that have a role in the medical cannabis industry, it seems as though the answer is a resounding yes. And for patients, a community worth growing means a community centered on authentic engagement that places the well-being of people, existing patients, and potential patients at the forefront – and having that dedication reflected in each aspect of a truly community-centered and inclusive event.