Medicinal Use of Cannabis

Monday, April 1, 2019 • 12:30 - 4:30 pm
Mercy College of Health Sciences 


Join Mercy College of Health Sciences to dive deep into the multifaceted issue of medicinal cannabinoid use. Topics to be explored include public health concerns, biological action of cannabinoids, its use in medicine, production, and future applications. Industry leaders from the  Department of Public Health, University of Iowa, and MedPharm will facilitate an open Q&A session.

Participants will be able to describe the biological actions which occur when using medical cannabis, identify scope of usage in Iowa for medical cannabis, and explore future applications for medical cannabis. 

The 14th Annual Research Symposium is sponsored by the Mercy College Research Advisory Council and Mercy College Alumni Association.


The symposium is free to all attendees. Please register here.

Submit an Abstract

You will need to choose one of the abstract categories in the submission form as part of your abstract submission. If you don’t see a relevant topic category for your abstract, please choose the topic that is nearest to the relevance of your project.

Abstracts are accepted on the following categories:

  • Research (Includes experimental quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods studies. May include evidence-based studies and evaluation studies.)
  • Literature Review (Summary of the literature on a specific topic or issue using credible resources.)
  • Experiential (Includes reflections on, descriptions of, or outcomes from preceptorships, service learning and clinical experiences.)

All abstracts that are successfully submitted for the conference and the presenting author has registered for the conference, will be accepted for a poster presentation and published in the meeting program. The presenting author will be notified of the poster board number by March 30th.

Poster awards for multiple categories available. Students are encouraged to participate. Deadline to enter is March 29, 2019.

To participate in the poster presentation, please submit your abstract here.

Continuing Education

Nurses will be awarded 3.1 contact hours from MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center, Iowa Board of Nursing Provider #17 (Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be given).


11:30 am - 11:45 pm         Poster Setup
12:00pm - 12:30 pm          Registration, Poster Viewing

12:30 pm - 12:35 pm        Welcome

   12:35 pm - 1:10 pm         Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Law Implementation

Owen Parker, MPH
Program Manager, Office of Medical Cannabidiol, Iowa Department of Public Health

Mr. Parker will review the medical cannabidiol law as it pertains to program stakeholders and identify educational materials provided by the Department. He will review the history of Iowa’s medical cannabis program, and provide an overview of how Iowa’s medical cannabis program compares to those of other states. He will discuss how proposed expansion bills could impact Iowa’s program.

1:10 pm - 1:45 pm          Technical Primer for Medical Cannabis

Karry Smith, PhD, MPH
Consultant, MedPharm, Iowa

Dr. Smith will describe the basics of the endocannabinoid system, and the different classes of cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN, and others). She will analyze current pharmaceutical agents (Sativex, Marinol, etc) and discuss the current state of cannabinoid research (safety, toxicity, drug-drug interaction).

1:45 pm - 2:15 pm             Poster Session

2:15 pm - 3:15 pm         Research on the Effects of Cannabis Use in Multiple Sclerosis – Dazed and Confused?

Thorsten Rudroff, Ph.D., FACSM
Assistant Professor, Department of Health & Human Physiology, University of Iowa

Dr. Rudroff will present information on the use of cannabis in treating patients with multiple sclerosis. He will analyze gaps in knowledge surrounding cannabinoid treatments for multiple sclerosis, and identify future directions for research.

3:15 pm - 3:45 pm            Medical Cannabis in Iowa - A Manufacturer's Perspective


Rebecca Lucas, BS
Technical Development Manager, MedPharm

Ms. Lucas will describe the cannabinoid manufacturing process at MedPharm Iowa (growing of plants, extraction of oil, formulation of products, testing procedures). She will discuss the patient experience and dispensary process, and the current challenges for MedPharm Iowa and other Iowa dispensaries.

3:45 pm - 4:15 pm              Panel Q&A           Thorsten Rudroff, Karry Smith, Owen Parker, and Rebecca Lucas

4:15 pm - 4:30 pm             Awards and Evaluations

Organizing Committee

Victor Babich, PhD, chair, Assistant Professor of School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Linda Knowles, Academic Assistant of School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Joan McCleish, RN, PhD, Associate Dean of School of Nursing

Jennifer Miller, PhD, Provost of Mercy College of Health Sciences

Truc Nguyen, PhD, Professor of School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Rebecca Steidl, PhD, Assistant Professor of School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Joelle Stolte, PhD, MPH, Program Chair Public Health of School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Jennie Ver Steeg, MA, MS, MLIS, Director of Library of Mercy College of Health Sciences

Julie Weldon, MSN, RN, Adjunct faculty of School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Past Conferences