History of ACNA
The American Cannabis Nurses Association was conceived by Ed Glick in 2006 during the Patients Out of Time Fourth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics in Santa Barbara California. ACNA was envisioned as a nursing organization that represented the emerging field of endocannabinoid therapeutics to professional nurses, providing scientific, patient, and educational opportunities to assist nurses in understanding and advocating for their patients' needs. Ed suggested the idea to Mary Lynn Mathre, Patients Out of Time co-founder (and a registered nurse) noting that, “if we don’t do it, someone else will." It took a couple of years, but in 2009 and 2010, Ed and Mary Lynn began the process of completing documents to incorporate ACNA and set up financial accounting, logo development and outreach to the American Nurses Association.
ACNA was formally organized as an Oregon non-profit organization in 2010. An introductory meeting of the organization was held at the 2010 Patients Out of Time Conference in Warwick, Rhode Island by an interim founders committee composed of nurses Glick, Mathre, Krumm, Wolski, Palmer and advocates Vincent Shelzi, and Stacie Boilard. In November of 2011, the first ACNA Board was elected to include: Mary Lynn Mathre as President, Ed Glick as Secretary, Stacie Boilard as Treasurer, and Bryan Krumm, Ken Wolski and Sharon Palmer as board members.
In 2014, the ACNA Board of Directors recognized that ACNA's growth required some restructuring in order to more efficiently manage it. Changes included rechartering ACNA as a New Jersey non-profit organization and adopting formal bylaws. ACNA's mission remained the same.
In 2015, ACNA applied for tax-exempt status under the IRS code 501(C)(3). This was granted in November 2015.
ACNA Founder & Past President
Mary Lynn (ML) Mathre, RN, MSN, CARN is the President and Co-founder of Patients Out of Time, a national non-profit organization dedicated to educating health care professionals and the public about the therapeutic use of cannabis. She is editor of Cannabis in Medical Practice: A Legal, Historical Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis (1997) and co-editor of Women and Cannabis: Medicine, Science and Sociology (2002).
She received her BSN from the College of St. Teresa in Winona, MN in 1975 and began her nursing career in the US Navy Nurse Corps. Her specialty was medical surgical nursing until she returned to school and earned her master's degree at Case Western Reserve University in 1985. She began teaching at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, but changed her focus to addictions nursing in 1987 and returned to clinical practice first on the Addictions Treatment Unit at UVA, then as the Addictions Consult Nurse for the UVA Health System. From 2004 - 2007 she was Executive Director of an opioid treatment program in Charlottesville. Currently she is an independent addictions consultant.
Ms. Mathre's focus on medicinal cannabis began in 1985 with the completion of her graduate thesis on Disclosure of Marijuana Use to Health Care Professionals. Since then she has authored cannabis resolutions for several organizations including the Virginia Nurses Association, the National Nurses Society on Addictions (now the International Nurses Society on Addictions), and the American Public Health Association; written numerous articles and chapters on medicinal cannabis; and served as an expert witness.
Ms. Mathre is a founding member of ACNA.