Member Blog: Cannabis Retailers – Help Advance Cannabis Research
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Member Blog: Cannabis Retailers – Help Advance Cannabis Research

by Lisa Conine, Community Outreach Coordinator at Om of Medicine

Medical cannabis retailers are in the unique position of having large amounts of data available to them in the form of medical cannabis patients. Four years ago, Om of Medicine partnered with researchers at the University of Michigan to develop an IRB-approved survey study examining medical cannabis patients and their opioid use. We conducted a survey of 244 medical cannabis patients in Michigan with chronic pain for 3 months. The goal was to collect data to examine if using medical cannabis for chronic pain affected one’s opioid consumption. We saw testimonial evidence of this every day in our consultation rooms and we wanted to quantify that evidence to elevate our patient’s voices and bring them to decision-makers.

The results of that study displayed a 64% reduction in opioid use and a 45% increase in quality of life. The Journal of Pain published this research in their 2016 edition and since, the findings have been used as a tool for engaging with medical professionals and elected officials. Additionally, the results have been cited in publications such as the 2017 edition for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s report: Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Soon after, the results were sited in Representative Earl Blumenauer’s Physicians Guide to Cannabis-Assisted Opioid Reduction. Blumenauer’s office took the initiative to put this document together and circulate it to his colleagues throughout Congress. These findings are intended to be a tool for advancing our advocacy for this movement and the patients we serve. You can find the study here and you are encouraged to use these findings in your lobbying and education efforts!

Currently, Om of Medicine is continually working to increase research around medical cannabis patient’s experiences. We now have launched our third IRB-approved study examining patient’s daily regimens, their knowledge on cannabis, and their relationship to their medical health care team. We are calling on the cannabis industry to help us increase our patient data set by circulating the IRB-approved survey to any networks you have with medical cannabis patients. 

The survey is quick to complete and is completely confidential. The published work is intended to be used as a tool for all working in the industry and movement to use it as a piece for engagement with policymakers and doctors. 

If you have any questions, you can reach me at Sending out sincere gratitude to NCIA and participants who take this survey to aid in the advancement of understanding this plant and its revolutionary potential.


Lisa Conine is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Om of Medicine, a medical cannabis dispensary in downtown Ann Arbor. Lisa works to prioritize relationships with Om’s local community non-profits, businesses, medical professionals, and elected officials. Outreach at Om is based in social justice and forwarding the cannabis movement by uplifting the work of partnering community organizations, providing education on cannabis to the public, and engaging politically, on all levels, to create sensible policy. Lisa is also a member of the newly formed NCIA Retail Committee.

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