Holistic Cannabis Academy Faculty

Meet Our Faculty

The Holistic Cannabis Faculty: Holistic-Minded Health Practitioners

The integrity of what we provide our customers rests squarely on who we are – holistic-minded health practitioners, first and foremost. While other cannabis education programs are available, most are produced by business people who have little or no hands-on client health experience. We are our target audience – health + wellness professionals committed to holistic healing.

We’re also seasoned educators and communications experts. We know how to dissect studies and translate findings. We know how to develop curricula that’s timely and practical.

Meet our faculty. Connect with us. Learn from us. We look forward to meeting you!


Jessica Baker, LAc, RH

As an acupuncturist, herbalist, aromatherapist, and educator, Jessica Baker’s passion for sharing the messages of plants is reflected in her private practice and teaching. Jessica communicates the value of traditional medicine to healthcare practitioners in her work as a continuing education provider. A faculty member of the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jessica’s life mission is to communicate, educate, and empower.



Philip Blair, MD

US Army retired Colonel Philip Blair is a family physician providing disease management for small business employees in several states. Through Pro Health Advisor and a multidisciplinary team, Blair provides innovative health management by telemedicine to clients in all states. Researching and applying the use of industrial hemp cannabidiol (CBD) in clinical care for patients, Blair and has been sharing his knowledge and experience with health professionals worldwide.

Jo Cohen

Joseph Cohen, DO

Osteopathic physician Joe Cohen started his career as an OB/GYN working with Native American women in Wyoming as well as the Maori women in New Zealand. Switching gears, Dr. Cohen launched a root cause resolution practice in Boulder called Holos Health. Patient outcomes have been nothing short of astounding when cannabis is combined with a functional medicine approach, eliminating triggers and adding nutritional therapies.

Marcie Cooper, RN, MSN, AHN-BC

Registered nurse Marcie Cooper is board certified as an advance holistic nurse working to bridge the gap between western and holistic medicine. Past board member for the American Cannabis Nurses Association, Marcie founded the Colorado Cannabis Nurses Association. She works as a bedside hospice nurse and a part-time nursing educator. Providing individualized holistic patient care and private consults, Marcie believes that all patients and healthcare providers should be knowledgeable about cannabis therapeutics and the endocannabinoid system.  



Anna Coy

Founder of Spirit Fearless Productions, Anna Coy believes that how you breathe is how you live. Her mantra – oxygen increases energy as our life force. Her whole-body breathing series Learn to Breathe has reached individuals in over 25 countries. Anna recommends that breath work with cannabis be incorporated with all healing modalities to help reduce pharmaceutical use. Breathing is a tool to recharge the body and stay connected to one’s source.

Julie Dooley

Julie Dooley

Julie Dooley, president of Julie’s Natural Edibles, walks the walk. As an individual diagnosed with celiac disease, Julie created premium cannabis-infused edibles for gluten-sensitive and health conscious Coloradans. She boasts an expertise in formulation and research with cannabis infusions to ensure exact dosing. Devoting time to national marijuana industry working groups, Julie believes in mentorship – an activity in which she has participated as a Founding Member of Woman Grow.


dee1Dee Dussault

Founder of Ganja Yoga, Dee Dussault helps people find their bliss through relaxation, mindfulness, and sensuality. As a sexuality coach, Dee has guided thousands of clients across the US and around the world. Ganja Yoga classes are designed for any level + ability, reflecting Dee’s philosophy that everyone can do yoga. Having practiced yoga for over two decades, Dee creates space for freedom, expression, and modification in all of her offerings.


Leah Heise, JD

Leah Heise, JD, is President of Women Grow – the cannabis industry’s largest professional networking organization. Leah has a unique understanding of what it means to be a patient. Having suffered with chronic pancreatitis, an illness that causes intractable pain, malnutrition, and hospitalization, Leah knows firsthand that patients need transparent, safe access to high-quality, tested medication provided to them in an environment where they feel secure, valued, and heard.

Bob HobanRobert Hoban, JD

Bob Hoban is the Managing Partner at Hoban & Feola, LLC, the nation’s premier cannabusiness law firm. Recognized as one of the leading commercial cannabis practitioners, Bob’s specialties include cannabis and hemp-based business operations, related litigation, and regulatory counsel. He’s a professor in the Law and Society Program at the University of Denver and holds memberships with the National Hemp Association, National Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, and Hemp Industries Association.

Prashanti de Jager

From yogi to biophysics to EMT to Ayurvedic practitioner to ethnopharmacologist to ecological medicine activist, Prashanti de Jager is a founder of the Dunagiri Foundation, and the Pacific Center of Ayurveda. To ensure high quality formulas for his clients, Prashanti co-founded Organic India – a socially responsible company that grows, wildcrafts, and processes the herbs by hand. Author of several Vedic-Science books, which are translated into 12 languages, he lectures and heals around the globe.

Rachel Knox, MD, MBA

Rachel Knox is co-founder of TheCannaMDs and The American Cannabinoid Clinics, as well as medical chair of the Minority Cannabis Business Association. A physician who has counseled several thousand patients in cannabis therapeutics, Dr. Knox has witnessed how cannabis helps patients reclaim health and wellness. She believes in an integrative approach to delivering medical cannabis care that is rooted in evidence-based lifestyle and functional Medicine.

Laura Lagano, MS, RDN, CDN

One of the original dietitians to break the alternative career wall, Laura Lagano has been a nutrition communications consultant since the 80s following her Masters in nutrition education from Columbia University. Dissatisfied with what allopathic healthcare had to offer, Laura followed the path set by her daughter with special needs and embarked on a learning quest that led her to myriad holistic modalities plus the Institute of Functional Medicine. Currently, Laura has a private practice focusing on gut, immune, adrenal, and brain health, which is all about root cause resolution. Continuing her commitment to progressive therapies, Laura is co-founder of the Holistic Cannabis Network & Academy – a cannabis education, training, and business-building platform for holistic-minded practitioners about medical marijuana and its integration with other healing modalities. Laura is co-founder of the Holistic Cannabis Network, Holistic Cannabis Academy, and Holistic Cannabis Summit.

Martin LeeMartin Lee

Martin Lee is the director of Project CBD, an educational service that focuses on cannabis science and therapeutics. Author Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational and Scientific, Martin is winner of the prestigious James A. Duke Award for Excellence in Botanical Literature from the American Botanical Council. As co-founder of the media watch group FAIR, or Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, Martin penned Acid Dreams and The Beast Reawakens.

Deborah Malka, PhD, MD

A medical doctor with a PhD in molecular genetics, Deborah Malka is a practitioner of integrative holistic medicine with a private practice in California specializing in the integration of medical cannabis in patient treatment plans. Previously, she served as the medical director for a group of cannabis evaluation clinics in California. Having studied both holistic and conventional modalities, Dr. Malka guides her clients on their individual journeys to wellness with a blend of intuitive counseling, energy balancing bodywork, and natural therapies.

Joanne Matson

Ayurvedic Practitioner, Cannabis Consultant, Yoga teacher, and self-healed survivor of a 15-year struggle with Crohn’s disease and degenerative spinal arthritis, Joanne Matson teaches how to balance our modern hectic lifestyle with the practice of living with awareness and mindfulness. She teaches from experience – authentic health and wellness come from the proper balancing of one’s energy with that of nature, and arises both through proper detoxifying practices to cleanse the body, and through proper rejuvenation therapies to nourish the body for balance and longevity.



Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSN, CARN

Registered nurse Mary Lynn Mathre boasts 40+ years of experience as a nurse, specializing in addictions nursing since 1987 and cannabis education since 1990. ML is co-founder and president of Patients Out of Time, a non-profit organization devoted to educating healthcare professionals and the public about therapeutic cannabis. She is the editor of Cannabis in Medical Practice: A Legal, Historical and Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana and co-editor of Women and Cannabis: Medicine, Science and Sociology. ML is also a founding member and past president of the American Cannabis Nurses Association.

Muffy Montemayor, CNC

Certified Nutrition Consultant Martha Montemayor founded Healthy Choices Unlimited, whose physicians and staff has helped over 15,000 patients obtain their Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry cards. As an organizer of Cannabis Clinicians Colorado, Martha spearheads the annual Denver meeting – Marijuana for Medical Professionals. Previously, she served as a clinical nutritionist and product rep for Crayhon Research, a supplement company focusing on brain nutrition.

Regina Nelson, PhD

Regina is Co-Founder of the eCS Therapy Center, as well as founding officer of the Cannabis Patient Network Institute. Both of these organizations are unique, cannabis patient-led and driven organizations. Their collective missions are to build awareness of the endocannabinoid system, promote cannabis as medicine, and champion community-based education. Regina has presented at peer-reviewed conferences hosted by the International Leadership Association, as well as the International Cannabinoid Research Society.

Ezra Parzybok - HCA faculty

Ezra Parzybok

Ezra Parzybok is a medical marijuana consultant in Northampton, MA. He has advised + guided hundreds of patients and their families about the appropriate + effective use of cannabis in all forms. A veteran educator with a Masters from Bard College, Ezra set out to fill the cannabis education gap. His goal for patients is to reduce symptoms, increase quality of life + decrease harmful medications. He seeks to elevate the field, as well as the dialogue surrounding it, to create a holistic + healthful approach.


Lex Pelger

Lex Pelger

Lex Pelger is a drug writer by trade and a scientist by background. He covers psychoactive topics for Alternet, writes a science column for Freedom Leaf and lectures at many universities. Combining his science brain and creative writing skills, Lex’s current project is a large graphic novel about cannabis and the endocannabinoid system titled “Anandamide or: the Cannabinoid.” As host of Psymposia, a group that presents drug conferences, Lex creates storytelling events up and down the East Coast. Lex’s future includes starting a non-profit based around drug education.

Michele Ross, PhD

One of the first scientists to come out of the cannabis closet, neuroscientist Michele Noonan Ross is president of the IMPACT Network, which stands for Improving Marijuana Policy and Accelerating Cannabinoid Therapeutics. Dr. Ross is the author of Vitamin Weed: a 4-Step Plan to Prevent and Reverse Endocannabinoid Deficiency – a guide about how to boost the endocannabinoid system with dietary phytocannabinoids. A proud member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society and Colorado Cannabis Clinicians, she is a co-founder of GreenStone Labs whose mission is to bring new cannabis technologies to market.

Ethan Russo, MD

Ethan Russo, MD, is a board-certified neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher, and Medical Director of PHYTECS, a biotechnology company researching and developing innovative approaches targeting the human endocannabinoid system. Former President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society and former Chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines, Ethan currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the American Botanical Council and the Hemp Industries Association. He is author or co-author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and books about cannabis.

Tracy Ryan

Tracy Ryan is the CEO of CannaKids, which is a California Cooperative specializing in the creation of lab tested, and scientist-extracted cannabis oils. Since her daughter Sophie’s brain tumor diagnosis, Tracy has dedicated her life to educating herself on the medicinal powers of cannabis to treat her Sophie, as well as all others. CannaKids has recently partnered with the Technion Institute in Israel where they are legally studying the effects of cannabinoids on many forms of cancer.

Steph Sherer

Steph Sherer is founder and Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Director of Innovations of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoid Institute, and founding member of the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition. Steph has become the foremost international leader and expert on medical cannabis patient advocacy. Alongside the American Herbal Products Association, she has created the first cannabis industry standards in the areas of distribution, cultivation, analytics, manufacturing, packaging, and labeling.

Donna Shields, MS, RDN

Donna Shields is Co-Founder of the Holistic Cannabis Network, Co-Producer of the Holistic Cannabis Summit, and Director of Business Development for the Holistic Cannabis Academy. Donna’s nutrition and health career has spanned the US Army Medical Corp, product development and health education communicator for major food brands (both as a consultant and on staff), the Culinary Institute of America as faculty member, cookbook author, and freelance food and nutrition writer. Donna’s personal journey with breast cancer led her to explore holistic healing options and, along with her co-founder and colleague Laura Lagano, to develop a holistic-focused online cannabis training platform for health professionals, patients, caregivers, and canna curious consumers. Contributor to The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, Donna is Boulder, CO – the epicenter of start-ups, the natural food world, and the cannabis industry.

Rob Streisfeld, ND

A doctor of naturopathic medicine and certified natural food chef, Rob Streisfeld provides an informed and innovative perspective to support healthful lifestyle choices. As both a healthcare practitioner and food professional, Dr. Rob knows how the body functions and how the food you eat can impact your health and wellbeing. As part of his concierge philosophy, his passion about cannabis as part of the clinician’s toolbox is rooted in the synergistic benefit offered by this plant. Dr. Rob serves on the medical advisory board of My Compassion.

Jonathan Treasure, MA, MNIMH

With a Masters in Medical Sciences from Cambridge University and a degree in herbal medicine, Jonathan Treasure boasts a clinical practice for individuals with cancer centered on botanical medicine and nutrition. His dual expertise in traditional herbal therapeutics combined with a fluency in biomedical science offers a transdisciplinary perspective, exemplified by the acclaimed collaborative medical textbook Herb, Nutrient and Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies.

Roy UptonRoy Upton, RH, DAya

Registered Herbalist and Diplomat of Ayurveda Roy Upton is the founder, executive director, and editor of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, as well as past president of the American Herbalists Guild, advisory board member of Association of Official Analytical Chemists International, the American Botanical Council, and NSF International (a public health and safety organization). Roy edited the AHP Cannabis Therapeutic Compendium, which provides a comprehensive review of the therapeutics and safety of cannabis. As part of your Holistic Cannabis Academy registration, you’ll receive a copy of the monograph.

Kate Welch, PharmD, IACP

Kate Welch is a compounding pharmacist who practices in Portland, Oregon. She obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University/Oregon Health Sciences University.  Also a practicing herbalist with an interest in the science of botanical medicine, Dr. Welch is a member of the American Herbalists Guild and the American Botanical Council. She has completed advanced training in compounding pharmacy as well as in botanical medicine and in the pharmacology of essential oils. In addition, Dr. Welch currently advises Oregon medical marijuana program cardholders, their growers, and caregivers about safe and optimal preparation and use of cannabis-based medicines.

Ready to take the next step?  Register now.

Health professionals – register for the practitioner program
Caregivers, patients + canna-curious customers – register for the consultant program

Practitioners Program Registration
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