Conference Speakers


Keynote Speaker

Dr Sue Sisley MD is an Arizona-based physician practising internal medicine and psychiatry. She works as Medical Director for medical cannabis license holders in 11 different US states/territories from Hawaii to Puerto Rico to New York enabling her to collect data on patient’s response to state-level, lab-tested cannabis. Dr Sisley serves as Site Principal Investigator for the only FDA-approved randomized controlled trial in the world examining safety/efficacy of whole plant marijuana in combat veterans with treatment-resistant post traumatic stress disorder PTSD. Dr. Sisley is on faculty at Colorado State University, recruited for core planning team to organize the CSU “Cannabis Center of Excellence” in Pueblo, Colorado. Dr. Sisley has been a Member of Nevada ILAC Medical Cannabis Commission for the past 2 years outlining regulations for laboratory testing including limits on pesticides, residual solvents and other guidelines that are currently being used as a model for other states medical cannabis laws. Dr. Sisley has received many honours including the President’s Point of Light Award and the Leo B. Hart Humanitarian Award for ‘outstanding contributions made for social reform’ by the University of Arizona College of Medicine; the Dr. Clarence Salsbury Medal from the Maricopa County Medical Society for ‘her overwhelming commitment to health education, abiding interest in using the arts to promote healthy lifestyles among youths and her resolve to providing indigent health care services in our inner-cities’; the Arizona Medical Association’s highest honour, the President’s Distinguished Service Award; and Arizona’s most prestigious recognition for volunteerism, the Hon Kachina Award.


Masterclass Speaker

Dr Ray Gottesfeld MD is a clinician, researcher, medical executive and forward thinker who grew up skiing in Colorado and who returned there in1981 following medical training in Ob-Gyn. As he gained experience in the clinical practice of medicine, and honed his surgical skills as a reproductive endocrinologist, complications of shoulder and knee surgeries showed him first-hand the limits of Western allopathic medicine and the benefit of alternative therapies. Returning to the classroom, he became certified in Integrative Holistic Medicine which he incorporated into his integrative consultancy, The Center for Patient Advocacy. After Colorado became one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana, he extended his practice, and limited it to cannabis medicine in 2014. His four Relaxed Clarity clinics have about 15,000 patient visits per year, of which he personally sees about 3,000. Relaxed Clarity recently merged with MCV clinics in Canada and CannaCare Docs in the Northeastern part of the United States to become the largest group of cannabis clinics in North America. Along the way, Dr Gottesfeld has served as Medical Director of several health plans, on ethics committees and research committees charged with protecting patient rights, and as Chief Medical Officer of a major healthcare corporation’s medical division. On this, his first trip down-under, he looks forward to learning about cannabis medicine in Australia and to serendipitous adventures.



Professor Kylie O’Brien PhD is the CEO of Global Health Initiative Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on medicinal cannabis education and research. She has Bachelor degrees in optometry and Chinese medicine, a Master degree in Public Health, PhD in Chinese medicine and a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education. Kylie has been leading medicinal cannabis education in Australia. She developed the first medicinal cannabis courses to receive category 1 accreditation with the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners and set up the pathway through which medical practitioners may apply to become authorised prescribers of medicinal cannabis, via the NIIM ethics committee. Professor O’Brien is an experienced educator, researcher and practitioner, with expertise in Chinese medicine, medicinal cannabis and integrative medicine more broadly. She has previously worked for the Department of Human Services, and has held senior academic and administrative roles in universities and the private education sector. She is a member of the Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Advisory Committee on Complementary Medicines, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Expert Panel and a Council member of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies’ Specialty Committee for Cancer Rehabilitation. Her first book O’Brien and Sali, A Clinician’s Guide to Integrative Medicine: What You Should Be Talking About With Cancer Patients and Why (US: Springer 2017) was published in the US by Springer in 2017.


Stephanie’s passion for medicinal cannabis started just over 15 years ago after a family friend was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. While helping to explore treatment options she read about medicinal cannabis. She soon joined the Neuropharmacology laboratory at Monash University to further research uses of cannabis as a medicine. Stephanie completed her PhD with her work focussed on investigating the role of the endocannabinoid system in the brain. In the 5 years that followed the completion of her doctorate, she worked in both hospital and life sciences portfolios at a medical device’s company. After starting her own family she joined the Children’s Cancer Centre team at the Royal Children’s Hospital where she developed and implemented a portfolio of clinical pathways for the management of patients with brain and solid tumours. Stephanie has now returned to her passion for cannabis based medicine as the Director of Global Scientific Affairs for the Melbourne-based medicinal cannabis company CannaLife.

BHSc BNat (Hons 1st)


Rachel Arthur is a respected and widely published naturopath and registered nutritionist specialising in integrative nutrition, with a special interest in diagnostics. With over 20 years’ experience in both the clinic and the classroom, Rachel is considered a leading nutritional educator, delivering post-graduate training and mentoring to naturopaths, doctors and allied health care professionals alike. Her extensive research, clinical experience and familiarity with scientific literature results in being regularly asked to speak at key conferences such as MINDD, ACNEM, NHAA, AIMA and was invited last year to speak at the International Acid Base Symposium in the Slovak Republic to a select group of scientists and doctors. She has contributed work to authoritative texts, including all 4 editions of the award-winning:  Herbs & Natural Supplements – An Evidence Based Guide (Elsevier). She delivers a popular monthly podcast Update in Under 30 and a post-graduate mentoring program for clinicians working with nutrition.  Rachel’s ongoing enthusiasm for integrative health and for education make her presentations practical and empowering experiences for attendees.


Justin Sinclair is a Research Fellow with the NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University. He has been researching and studying cannabis in Australia and the United States for the last 20 years. Key areas of his medicinal cannabis experience span several scientific disciplines, including cultivation, botany, genetics, ethnopharmacology, and phytochemistry. Justin coordinates the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Research and Education Collaboration at NICM and also heads up the Scientific Advisory Board for United in Compassion pro bono, Australia’s leading medicinal cannabis advocacy group, which was instrumental in lobbying for government legislation around medicinal cannabis in Australia.



Dr. Towpik has been a General Practitioner in Australia since 1993 and an advocate of medicinal cannabis since the law was amended and cannabis was legalised for medicinal use. Since then she has been studying the therapeutic properties of cannabis, how it works in the human body and the potential applications in General Practice, especially in the management of chronic debilitating pain. In 2016, Dr Towpik founded MediHuanna, an organisation that provides science-based medicinal cannabis education for Health Professionals. Dr Towpik sees cannabis as a therapeutic agent that has huge potential in General Practice. Her goal is to change the stigma behind cannabis through education, enabling it to be seen as an important medicine that should be integrated into modern medicine.In June 2018, Dr Towpik became a chief medical director for Compass Lifestyle Clinic.The goal and vision for this clinic is to use medicinal cannabis together with other modalities of healing to enhance the therapeutic outcomes for the patients. Dr Towpik strongly believes in doctors and other health professionals such as chiropractors, physiotherapists, psychologists, naturopaths, herbalists, nurse practitioners working together providing multidisciplinary and holistic model of care.


Currently, Luis Vitetta is Professor with the University of Sydney, Faculty of Medicine and Health in the School of Medicine and is Director of Medical Research at Medlab Clinical in Sydney. Between the years 2007–2013 he was the Director and Professor of the Centre for Integrative Clinical and Molecular Medicine at the University of Queensland, Faculty of Medicine, based at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. Luis has research interests in the microbiome/nutrition/probiotics and mucosal and cellular immunity as well as research on cannabis medicines.


Professor Nicholas Lintzeris MBBS PhD FAChAM is Director Drug & Alcohol Services, South East Sydney Local Health District; Conjoint Professor, Division of Addiction Medicine, Central Clinical School, University of Sydney, and President-Elect, Chapter of Addiction Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and also a key researcher at the Australia Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence, Australia’s first federally-funded research centre for medicinal cannabinoids.

Professor Lintzeris is a clinician and specialist in Addiction Medicine who has worked for over 30 years in the area of cannabis and other addictions and is a national reference regarding cannabinoid behavior and response in humans. He has a wealth of experience in pharmacovigilance of medicines with abuse potential, such as opioid and benzodiazepine pharmacovigilance. Professor Lintzeris is an investigator in several clinical trials of medicinal cannabis in the areas of chemotherapy, chronic pain, palliative care, driving and addiction medicine, and in studies associated with assessment of safety and cost effectiveness


Dr. Bode graduated from medicine at Adelaide University in 1986 and has continuously undertaken further education including hypnotherapy, acupuncture, Chinese medicine and prolotherapy. He was introduced to Nutritional and Environmental Medicine in 1997 and this change in direction enabled him to further increase his repertoire of tools, to aid in the treatment of a variety of complex conditions. Dr Bode is an experienced presenter, having lectured for ACNEM, Mindd, Cancer Care Centre, Chronic fatigue association and Autism SA. He has worked as a Director, an Integrative General Practitioner in the Adelaide Hills location of Stirling for many years. More recently Dr Bode has focused his practice on Integrative Medicine allowing him to again take new patients and to help more families confronted with complex medical problems. His areas of particular interests include, but are not limited to: autism, cancer, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, heavy metal toxicity, neurological conditions, mental health and complex medical problems. He is experienced in the prescribing of medicinal cannabis for a range of conditions.




Dr Genevieve Steiner’s research spans the early detection, prevention, and treatment of cognitive decline in older age, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia.  Dr Steiner uses neuroimaging and physiological research methods to explore how herbal medicine treatments change cognition and the brain’s function and structure.  She is leading the world’s first clinical trial evaluating the effect of a cannabidiol-rich extract on cognition in people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.  Dr Steiner has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, editorials, and conference abstracts, and has attracted >$10M in competitive research funding.  She is a Young Tall Poppy Science awardee, an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow, she leads the NICM Health Research Institute’s Clinical Laboratory at Western Sydney University, is President of the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, and Deputy Director of the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research, and Enterprise (SPHERE) Age and Ageing Clinical Academic Group.


Ian Brighthope has qualifications and experience in medicine, surgery, anaesthetics, agricultural science, research, nutritional medicine, environmental medicine, herbal medicine and education. He is the founding President of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM). Professor Brighthope also pioneered the first post-graduate medical course in nutritional and environmental medicine in Australia. Nutrition Care Pharmaceuticals is a nutraceutical company that Professor Brighthope formed over 40 years ago. It is now a leading company in nutraceuticals in China. Professor Brighthope is a strong advocate for professional freedoms for health care professionals and freedom of informed choice of treatment for patients. He has been extremely active in the medicinal cannabis industry, profession and government relations.


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Phoenix Life Sciences International Limited is an adaptive healthcare solutions company. The Company’s main initiatives are to advance research on medicinial cannabis and and manufacture cannabis-based products that target and treat diabetes, pain, cancer, and address psychological, gastrointestinal, autoimmune, neurological and sleep disorders. The Company is working with developing nations on integrative programs to improve affordable healthcare and creating industry.  

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VIVO Cannabis’ Beacon Medical brand offers pharmaceutical-grade products grown in small batches at our state-of-the-art facility in Napanee, Ontario. Beacon Medical turns these plants into a variety of Cannabis products for patients to treat their disease. Our focus and pharmaceutical heritage mean that we implicitly understand the needs of prescribing physicians and their patients; and we provide a unique and simplified approach to navigating medical cannabis using the Beacon Cannatypes™ classification system. Beacon Medical is committed to the education of the community and health- care professionals who are interested in learning about Medicinal Cannabis;
and to ensuring that Australian patients have access to safe cannabis medicines.

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Tilray is a global leader in medical cannabis ciltivation, production and research, offering a range of cannabinoid products to patients. pharmaicies and researchers in the European Union, Australia, Canada and the Americas.  

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Entoura is an Australian operated healthcare company, developing and supplying high quality medicinal cannabis products. Established by Professor Ian Brighthope, who over 40 years ago founded Nutrition Care Pharmaceuticals, one of Australia’s exclusive companies in its ability to both formulate and manufacture therapeutic nutraceutical medicines. Entoura is committed to the development of high-quality innovative therapeutics that are supported by outstanding research programs, validated with clinical evidence and disseminated via exceptional education programs. Entoura is active in the Medicinal Cannabis industry, supporting medicinal cannabis research, education, manufacturing and patient access. Our vision is to open new pathways for previously inaccessible practitioner – patient treatment intervention.

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