- Policy Influence
Dr. Foster supports the safe legalization of cannabis at both the Federal and state level. She believes that education and access to safe, effective cannabis are the top priorities as legislators and communities consider the impact that cannabis will have in social, economic, transportation, communication, marketing, financial, and public health sectors.
Dr. Foster spent some time meeting with policy makers in Richmond, VA, where a bill that increased the THC level in medical cannabis and allowed nurse practitioners to recommend medical cannabis was being considered. Virginia NORML had worked alongside policy makers in her continued efforts advancing patient-focused medical cannabis policies.
“Ensuring patient access and controlling costs are vital to the success of Virginia’s medical cannabis program,” said Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML. “A positive outcome seen in states with robust programs is an average 25% reduction in opioid overdose fatalities, reduced opiate consumption, and reduced prescription drug-use. These adjustments will significantly increase the potential for similar benefits in the Commonwealth.”
In February 2019, a bill was filed by Senator Siobhan S. Dunnavant (R-12) to clarify and improve the regulation of pharmaceutical processors.
SB1557 would better align with prevailing medical cannabis research by allowing pharmaceutical processors to dispense full therapeutic-strength medical cannabis products.
The bill filed by Senator Dunnavant, “Alters the definitions of cannabidiol oil and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-A) oil to remove the five percent cap on the concentration of THC permitted to be contained in each oil. The bill allows licensed physician assistants and licensed nurse practitioners to issue a written certification for use of cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil.”
Cannabis nurses and other professionals met with policy makers to increase access to medicinal cannabis with the inclusion of Nurse Practitioners and Physician’s Assistants, as well as increasing the current THC limit of 5%.
Dr. Foster met with Senator Cosgrove to discuss his support for SB 1557, which would allow practitioners to recommend and pharmaceutical processors to dispense full medical cannabis products. It would also allow Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants to issue written certifications.
In the Virginia Senate chamber with
cannabis nurse colleagues
Llewellyn Dawn Smith, President of the
American Cannabis Nurses Association and
Deborah McCauley, Owner of Nurse Debb
SB 1557 being read on the Senate floor
From Dr. Foster:
“I truly appreciated Senator Cosgrove’s attention and willingness to hear about the evidence related to cannabis as medicine. Senator Dunnavant’s bill is still on the floor, so there is hope that it will have enough support this legislative session.”
“What does this mean for Hampton Roads patients? When pharmaceutical processors open this spring, more patients will have access to therapeutic-strength medicine,” Foster shared. “Medicinal cannabis will change the lives of our patients and our legislators need to be educated on the health benefits and risks of its use.”
In September 2019, Dr. Foster travelled to Washington, D.C. to lobby for legal cannabis reform with NORML during National Lobby Day, where she met with Senator Tim Kaine and Congressman Donald McEachin.
Meeting with Congressman McEachin
Keith Stroup, Founder of NORML
Dr. D. meets Tom Morello of
Rage Against the Machine and
Click to hear
Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave
sing a song he composed for NORML National Lobby Day