Press Releases

  • 04 Oct 2018 6:13 PM | Anonymous

    The American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) wholeheartedly supports the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s (NCSBN) stance on the nurse’s role in caring for medical cannabis patients. Details of the NCSBN’s vision can be found in the July 2018 edition of the Journal of Nursing Regulation in the multi-part article, including Nursing Care of the Patient Using Medical Marijuana and Medical Marijuana Education in Pre-Licensure Nursing Programs.

    The multi-part article states that nurses and nursing students must have a basic understanding of the mammalian endocannabinoid system, the scientific evidence base related to cannabis and symptom management, and how cannabis works in the body to relieve pain and many other distressing symptoms. Nurses are responsible for knowing the cannabis policies and legislation in their state. ACNA wholeheartedly agrees that nurses must be accepting of patients' choice to use cannabis medicinally. 

    ACNA welcomes this positive shift in clinical focus that the NCSBN’s position underscores. ACNA's President, Dr. Carey S. Clark, Ph.D., RN, AHN-BC, stated, "Cannabis is medicine. Patients across our nation are using it as medicine. All clinicians have an ethical obligation to be knowledgeable about cannabis therapeutics and to share this knowledge to improve patient outcomes. Patients want to receive their medicinal cannabis information from healthcare providers, but currently, patients are left undereducated and unsupported as they journey through their use of cannabis as medicine.”

    “ACNA encourages nurses around the world who care for cannabis patients to consider the implications of the NCSBN documents. We are the first point of contact for our patients, and these guidelines will help ensure that the community of global nurses are guided by standards of practice and that all patients are treated ethically. We are aware that there are nurses acting as advocates for cannabis patients in Canada, Australia, and the EU, and these are guidelines they can share with their own nursing practice governing bodies,” stated ACNA Past President, Eileen Konieczny, RN.

    Kudos to NCSBN for taking this ethical stance and helping change the stigma around medicinal cannabis.

  • 12 Sep 2017 9:19 AM | Anonymous member

    September 12, 2017 – Wheat Ridge, CO – A survey of nurses conducted by the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA), has led to a call for Congress to amend the 1970 Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and create a new schedule specific and restricted to cannabis and its many uses.  The CSA currently has only five drug schedules and cannabis is in the most severely restricted category, Schedule I.

    “Congress created the drug schedules nearly half a century ago and it is past time for review and amendment, especially in light of the modern research on cannabis,” said Eileen Konieczny, president of ACNA. “We are proposing a new schedule, Schedule VI, which would be specific to cannabis. There are many nations that have more than five schedules for drug control and it is time for the U.S. to enter the 21st Century with respect to the classification of cannabis.”

    When surveyed, ACNA’s membership overwhelmingly supported re-scheduling with the majority supporting creation of a new schedule. ACNA has released a Resolution that “calls on the United States Congress to increase the health, safety and well-being of our citizens by establishing a new cannabis-only schedule – Schedule VI – in the Controlled Substances Act that will accommodate all cannabis products.”

    “Nurses are, by tradition, the caregivers in the health care system.  Our members have seen first-hand the harm that has been perpetuated by the Schedule I classification,” Konieczny said. “Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have established state programs of medical access yet the federal government continues to impede access and research. That is criminal.”

    ACNA is the only professional nursing association dedicated to advancing the knowledge and use of medical cannabis in the United States. Currently the group has over 600 members, many of whom are actively treating patients with cannabis in states that allow it.  This has led the group to create a Scope of Practice and Standards for Cannabis Nurses which was recently approved by the group’s Board of Directors.

    Carey S. Clark, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, authored the Standards and Scope of Cannabis Nursing Practice which was unanimously approved by the ACNA Board of Directors.  Dr. Clark is an associate professor at the University of Maine and president-elect of ACNA.

    “The need for this type of document was overwhelming and I am very proud of ACNA for taking the lead in this area of public health,” Clark said. “Discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) two decades ago has changed how we look at cannabis and has created the need for nurse specialists who understand the intricacies of this fascinating physiological system. The science is maturing so quickly and I am certain the Standards and Scope of Cannabis Nursing Practice will continue to mature with it.”

    For further information contact:  Eileen Konieczy,

    For copies of the documents cited in this media release please follow these links:

    ACNA Resolution

    ACNA Survey

    Scope of Practice and Standards

    For further information about ACNA please visit the website at

    About the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) – ACNA, founded in 2006, is a nonprofit organization formed 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.

  • 07 Mar 2017 7:43 AM | Anonymous member


    DENVER, CO (March 7, 2017) – The American Cannabis Nurses Association has selected Kellen, a global leader in association services and communications, for full-service management of their professional society.

    The American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) is a national organization dedicated to expanding the knowledge base of endo-cannabinoid therapeutics among nurses. The small founding group of dedicated nurses has grown to over 600 healthcare and medical professionals, working together in a collegial and informational capacity to discuss the growing use of cannabis in medicine. 

    “Kellen’s depth and breadth of services and extensive experience working with organizations in the nursing and patient care space will bring exciting new opportunities to ACNA,” said ACNA President Eileen Konieczny, RN.  “Working with a professional management company was the next step for ACNA, as we look to expand our programs and services to provide better patient outcomes and quality of life through the safe, managed use of medical cannabis.”

    “The benefit of medical cannabis for the safe and effective treatment of certain conditions has continued to evolve,” said Peter Rush, Chief Executive Officer of Kellen.  “As more states adopt its use, there is a greater need for cannabis-treatment trained nurses.  We look forward to leveraging our expertise in the medical and healthcare sectors to support ACNA’s growth and mission.”

    ACNA will be headquartered in Kellen’s Denver office, with additional service provided by Kellen’s Washington, D.C. and Chicago offices.

    About Kellen:

    Kellen is a global management and communications company serving more than 105 trade associations, professional societies and charitable organizations representing over 10,000 companies and 100,000 professionals worldwide. We specialize in management, communications, digital strategy, regulatory affairs, meetings and events, and consulting across a diverse range of industries.  Founded in 1964 and charter-accredited through the AMC Institute, Kellen has offices in Atlanta, Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, New York City and Washington, D.C.

    About ACNA: In 2006, the American Cannabis Nurses Association 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. ACNA was formally organized as an Oregon non-profit organization in 2010, and its first meeting was held in 2010. In 2014, ACNA was re-chartered as a New Jersey non-profit organization and recognized as an IRS code 501(C)(3) in November 2015.

  • 10 Mar 2015 11:02 AM | Anonymous member

    Date: March 10, 2015

    For immediate release: The American Cannabis Nurses Association has endorsed The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act (CARERS) introduced in the U.S. Senate today by Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

    “Finally we seeing some movement on the federal level with regard to this important matter of public health,” said Alice O’Leary-Randall, member of the Board and chairman of the ACNA Communications Committee. “We wish the CARERS Act every success and call on our sister nursing organizations to support this measure.”

    The Senate bill represents the most far-reaching reform of the nation’s drug laws since passage of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. If enacted in its present form the bill would end the federal prohibition of medical marijuana, allowing states to set their own policies. The bill also reschedules marijuana, overhauls the banking laws, allows Veterans to have access to medical marijuana, and eliminates barriers to research.

    “ACNA was particularly pleased to see specific mentioning of our Veterans who have been struggling with post traumatic stress in epidemic proportion,” said O’Leary-Randall. “Many have found cannabis to be an effective medication and the VHA should be able to recommend cannabis to their patients.”

    If enacted CARERS would:

    • End the federal prohibition of medical marijuana
    • Reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II
    • Allow states to import CBD
    • Allow banks to provide financial services to marijuana dispensaries
    • Eliminate the PHS Review obstacle for marijuana research
    • End the NIDA monopoly on marijuana research
    • Allow VA physicians to recommend medical marijuana to patients
    “Rescheduling marijuana is particularly important,” said O’Leary-Randall. “Schedule I has served as a barrier to knowledge. It has not stopped the use of marijuana but it has stopped our discovery of this plant’s properties. It has driven a wedge between the people and their health care providers.”

  • 27 Apr 2012 6:41 PM | Deleted user

    ACNA Logo 


    FOR RELEASE ON: Saturday, April 27, 2012



    Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, CARN, President (434-987-2514)

    Ed Glick, ADN, BS, Secretary (541-224-4039)

    The founding of the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) was announced today by its Board of Directors. The ACNA is an association of nurses active in the field of medical cannabis and endocannabinoid therapeutics.

    The ACNA recognizes that there are hundreds of thousands of patients in the United States using cannabis within or outside of state statutes under the care of nurses who may or may not understand the complicated medical, legal and pharmacological issues surrounding its use as a therapeutic substance.

    The Code For Nurses requires that nurses function as advocates and educators for patients and in this regard the ACNA is empowered to bridge the knowledge gap through educational, professional, patient advocacy, collegial networking and supportive nursing practices which integrate cannabis patients-and the nurses who care for them- into nursing practice rather than marginalize them.

    The ACNA is the professional organization which will develop nursing standards, credentialing and certification procedures with a view to reducing the stigmatization of cannabis patients, and the nurses who support them.

    Contact Info:

    67 Gorham Road
    Scarbourough ME, 04074

    Download File

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