• Phone: 757-609-3767
  • Address: 480 Kempsville Rd. #104 Chesapeake, VA 23320

Hemp Haven – Chesapeake, VA

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Professional Nursing Practice

Dr. Denise Foster, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE has practiced professional nursing for 40 years. Beginning at the bedside in orthopedic and critical care, she transitioned to home health, where she began to recognize the benefits of medical cannabis when the HIV/AIDS epidemic swept the nation in the 1980s. Acknowledging that the use of medical marijuana helped patients with their pain, appetite, and mood, Dr. Foster became an advocate for its use as a therapeutic treatment. In the decades since working in home health, Dr. Foster has worked in the field of higher education, providing nursing instruction to students in associate, baccalaureate, RN-to-BSN, and graduate degree nursing programs. As a holistic practitioner, Dr. Foster’s research interests include the benefits and use of mindfulness practice and cannabis sciences, including the endocannabinoid system and cannabis pharmacology and use as a medicament. Dr. Foster believes that the use of medical cannabis is one of several complementary therapies that could potentially prevent the onset of disease and assist many chronically and acutely ill patients achieve optimal health in mind, body, and spirit.

Academic and Business Interests

For over 20 years, Dr. Foster taught in the online university setting for several national and international colleges of nursing. Her 40-year clinical practice included critical care, cardiac critical care, and community health, focusing on home health and hospice practice where she advocated for medicinal cannabis to patients who might benefit from its use.

From her research and in-depth knowledge related to cannabis as medicine, Dr. Foster was approached by Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins to contribute to the first medical cannabis textbook for nurses, Cannabis: A Handbook for Nurses, 1st edition.  With a background in health care sciences, she authored “Chapter 2: The Human Endocannabinoid System (ECS): Physiology.” This textbook was published January 2021 (ISBN-13: 978-1975144265; ISBN-10: 1975144260).

cannabis handbook

Dr. Foster was also approached and accepted the task of authoring the first course, Endocannabinoid System and Pharmacology, for a 3-course Medical Cannabis Certificate for Health Care Workers at Pacific College of Health Sciences in Chicago, New York, and San Diego, which was the nation’s first accredited academic medical cannabis instruction.

Dr. Foster also owns Empirical Cannabis LLC, providing research, education, and consultation services to health care professionals, non-profit organizations, and businesses that require more information regarding the newest phenomenon of medicinal and recreational cannabis legalization across the United States. Through a telehealth platform, Dr. Foster meets with medical cannabis patients across the country to provide medicinal cannabis education and consultation to patients and their families, as well as educating health care practitioners and her community through numerous professional presentations related to cannabis as medicine.

Cannabis Nursing Practice

As Director of Patient Education, Dr. Foster served medical marijuana patients for Shangri La Dispensaries, a group of medical cannabis dispensaries in Missouri. Education of all staff regarding safe and appropriate use of medicinal cannabis. As medical marijuana is a health care concern, Dr. Foster’s responsibilities include development of patient educational materials, moderation of social media pages to provide education to followers/patients, development of YouTube channel for promotion of educational videos regarding medicinal cannabis, and providing telehealth consultation with patients who need additional guidance and education regarding their use of medicinal cannabis.

Dr. Foster most recently served on the Board of Directors of the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) and is a strong advocate for all nurses and nursing students, in every setting and state, to become educated about medicinal cannabis as well as empowering, educating, and advocating for patient access, including safe and appropriate use. She also served as ACNA Secretary and chaired the ACNA Education and Research Committee as well as the ACNA Social Media and Communications Committee.

Because the use of medical marijuana is a recent addition to field of health care, Dr. Foster is also committed to developing, conducting, and disseminating research that will assist the nursing profession in understanding nursing roles and responsibilities associated with the usage of this therapeutic medicinal plant.

Hemp Haven Cannabinoid Dispensary

In 2020, Dr. Foster embarked on a journey that would lead her to discover her purpose in community health: the role of cannabis nurse.

Leaving the traditional practice of nursing after 35 years, Dr. Foster opened Hemp Haven Cannabinoid Dispensary, the first hemp-derived dispensary that practiced the art of healing through use of natural plant-derived cannabinoids. Dr. Foster incorporated her years of professional nursing practice, both within the traditional allopathic healthcare system and community health settings, with her practice of nursing education and her love of research.

When instructing nursing students in the classroom and clinical setting, Dr. Foster taught the harder health sciences, such as Microbiology, Nutrition, Anatomy & Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology. But her real love of nursing practice was found within the community, where she quickly realized that the health of a community begins with the health of the individuals within that community.

In academic settings, Dr. Foster enjoyed instructing nursing students in the practice of community nursing, where she partnered with non-profit organizations within the community through a service learning model that provided community health education and practice experiences for nursing students, while serving the needs of the non-profit organization at the same time.

Through the practice of community health, Dr. Foster recognized the declining health of the communities she served and the individuals within them.

Despite decades of evidence related to disease and disease management, her patients weren’t getting healthier; they were getting sicker. In alarm for the state of healthcare and the serious lapse of ethics encountered in every healthcare setting, Dr. Foster made the decision to leave her professional practice of community nursing to open Hemp Haven Cannabinoid Dispensary.

At Hemp Haven, clients within the community are provided with evidence-based cannabis education, recommendations for safe cannabinoid usage, and coaching through Hemp Haven’s free cannabis consultation services. Hemp Haven also serves the community as a retail store, providing hemp-derived cannabinoids that have been grown from hemp processed in the U.S. with adherence to strict health and safety guidelines. All products offered at Hemp Haven are third-party lab tested and include important safety considerations, such as child-proof packaging, child-resistant labeling, detailed ingredients, and recommendations only when appropriate and with the full consent of each individual client. Hemp Haven’s success has provided the Hampton Roads’ community the opportunity to normalize the new paradigm of cannabis as medicine in a safe, health-focused environment that is based in the science and practice of professional cannabis nursing. Hemp Haven has a simple mission: Change the World by implementing Health for All. 

Media Interests

As part of Hemp Haven’s marketing strategy, Dr. Foster hosts a monthly radio show, Ask the Expert, on AM790 WNIS in Norfolk, Virginia. This one-hour program provides listeners with the most up-to-date news and research about a wide variety of cannabis topics, including healthcare, safety, social justice, legislation, financial, public health, politics, and more. The live show provides the Hampton Roads community of over 1.9 million listeners an opportunity to call in with their questions about cannabis, or to engage Dr. Foster in debate regarding the legalization and use of cannabis as medicine. WNIS’s own radio superstar, Tony Macrini, host of Macrini’s Morning News Team, has hosted Dr. Foster as a guest on his own radio show, especially when cannabis makes the news. Tony provides live on-air advertisements of Dr. Foster’s cannabis business, Hemp Haven Cannabinoid Dispensary.

Dr. Foster is considered to be WAVY-TV10 CBD Expert on Your Side, in partnership with the Hampton Roads’ NBC affiliate. Dr. Foster regularly appears on the Hampton Roads Show, a morning favorite in households across the region, to highlight cannabis news and research. Currently, WAVY-TV10 has 6-Hemp Haven commercials in rotation, where advertising spots have been placed in the Today Show, Annual AKC Kennel Club Dog Show, the 2024 Superbowl, and numerous other programming, including local newscasts and the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. Hemp Haven was a major sponsor of WAVY-TV10’s recent special, D-Day: The Greatest Victory, as the dispensary focuses on veteran and military wellness using safe cannabinoid care.

Cannabis 101: A Cannabis Nurse Lecture Series

To meet the increasing demand for professional healthcare professionals, Dr. Foster currently conducts and online biannual Cannabis 101: A Cannabis Nurse Lecture Series in the Spring and Fall of each year.  This virtual 6-week course is available online every February and September, and is kept up-to-date by incorporating the ongoing research being conducted in this expanding field of cannabis as medicine. This textbook is the foundation of that course.

Following the guidelines of the NCSBN’s National Nursing Guidelines for Medical Marijuana, Cannabis 101 topics include:

  • Historical and Legal Aspects of Cannabis
  • The Endocannabinoid System & Phytocannabinoids
  • Cannabis Care & Phytocannabinoids, Terpenes
  • Cannabis Care Practice Applications
  • Safety Considerations in Cannabis Care
  • Ethical Considerations of Cannabis Care

After completion of the course, graduates are invited to work at Hemp Haven Cannabinoid Dispensary, as they are considered to have advanced evidence-based knowledge that supports safe cannabis practice.

Alumni from the classes have access to all future online course material and resources for free. Course graduates are always welcome to join our classes as cannabis science and research advance rapidly. Repetition of classes provides the most up-to-date evidence supporting safe community cannabis practice. We love to see our graduates return to fulfill their passion to serve their community and provide safe care using this medicinal plant.

Cannabis Nurse Truths

In January 2024, Dr. Foster launched a podcast, Cannabis Nurse Truths. Cannabis Nurse Truths promotes a voice of reason in a bureaucracy of nonsense.  Recognized as a national expert in the medicinal use of cannabis, Dr. Foster highlights the news, events, and research associated with cannabis. Through an educational approach, she teaches doctors, nurses and other educators in its use in modern medicine.  New episodes are uploaded every Wednesday and can be found on numerous popular podcasts platforms.

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