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2019 MARRCH Shared Solutions Addiction Summit
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When: Friday, September 13, 2019
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Where: Verizon Conference Center
1 Civic Center Plaza
Mankato, Minnesota  56001
United States
Contact: John Magnuson

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2019 MARRCH Shared Solutions Addiction Summit:

Viewing Marijuana through a Public Health Lens


Friday, September 13 | Mankato Civic Center | Mankato, MN


Join MARRCH to hear from thought leaders, content experts, and leaders in the field for a day of learning and discussion surrounding one of the most salient public health topics facing Minnesota addiction care. This summit will address the various implications of Marijuana legalization and provide education and training on how best to address the changing landscape of Marijuana in addiction care.


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Register online above or register by PDF.



MARRCH plans to offer 5 hours of the following types of credits:


  • Minnesota Board of Behavior Health and Therapy (BBHT):
    • Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) – Pending
    • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) – Pending
    • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) – Pending
  • Minnesota Board of Social Work (BOSW) – Pending


Early Bird Regular Rate (Register by September 3) | $35

Regular Rate (Register after September 3) | $45

Student Rate | $20

Non-CE Rate (will not apply for Continuing Education) | $20




7:00 - 8:30 am


8:30 - 10:00 am

Welcome & Keynote

Marijuana Policy: Providing a Smart Approach to Public Health

More Info

Marijuana Policy: Providing a Smart Approach to Public Health

Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D.


At the conclusion of this activity, participants will understand the state of the science with regards to marijuana. They will understand the differences between non-smoked components of marijuana for medicinal purposes, smoked marijuana for recreational uses, different components (eg CBD, THC), and how medical marijuana has worked in a in various U.S. until now. Participants will be conversant in the differences between Schedule I and II with regards to marijuana. Participants will also be able to discuss pressing issues related to marijuana policy in the US. They will be able to examine and give an overview about the current debate about legalization, in particular recent developments surrounding marijuana for medical purposes. Participants will also understand what data monitoring systems are in place both nationally and in states to track progress and consequences of the changing marijuana policy landscape. Finally, participants will understand what the various medical associations are saying about the evidence surrounding marijuana.



  1. Identify key current debates in drug control and be able to articulate controversial issues around marijuana policy, and other key national policy issues.
  2. Describe key goals of national drug control policy, including those aimed at reducing prevalence and consequences, such as drug overdose deaths, addiction, family consequences, and other key harms. 
  3. Interpret proper tradeoffs that contribute to formulating effective drug policy, such as the weighing of harms of policies and maximizing utility.
  4. Discuss key issues surrounding controversial issues, such as alternative drug control policies around marijuana.
  5. Be able to articulate the difference between smoked versus non-smoked marijuana for medical purposes.
  6. Understand impacts of alternatives to current policies, particularly those in Colorado and Washington.
  7. Understand what national medical groups are articulating around marijuana

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Breakout Sessions

Therapeutic Cannabis: Helping or Harming the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders
Marijuana: Lessons Learned from the Drug Task Force
Working with Diverse Populations
Medical Cannabis: Clinical Pearls

More Info

Therapeutic Cannabis: Helping or Harming the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders

Thad Shunkwiler


This workshop will examine the Minnesota Therapeutic Cannabis Program and its potential impact on treating co-occurring disorders. Participants will review current empirical research on the use of cannabis while discussing potential benefits and consequences with patients. An emphasis will be placed on practical application of the research into clinical practice.



  1. Participants will understand the scope and application of the Minnesota Statute related to therapeutic cannabis.
  2. Participants will review current empirical research on the use and outcomes of therapeutic cannabis.
  3. Participants will develop skills to discuss the potential benefits and consequences of using therapeutic cannabis in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Marijuana: Lessons Learned from the Drug Task Force

Jeff Wersal


This presentation will show participants what products the legalization of marijuana will bring to Minnesota as well and the challenges law enforcement and the community will face if it is legalized.  Jeff will discuss trends the MN drug tasks forces are seeing relating to marijuana as well as information compiled from surrounding states.  



  1. Participants will be able to identify trends in Marijuana locally in MN as well as from surrounding states.
  2. Participants will obtain information about problems that law enforcement and the community face surrounding marijuana.
  3. By the end of the presentation participants will be able to explain how current criminal justice policy on marijuana affects the clients that they serve. 

Working with Diverse Populations

Andre Koen


Trauma the gateway drug. What if we have gotten it all wrong? What if the “gate way drug” was not smoking, “weed” or drinking? What if at the root these behaviors were manifestations of people dealing with historical and ever present trauma. Do we have parents that are developing trauma informed parenting skills or are they passing on their inherited trauma just as generations before them? In this session we will talk about how and why marijuana usage is the side effect of trauma. We will explore ways to teach parents and young people how to navigate the allure of self-medication. We will also address tools that can help heal the underlying hurt caused by racism, gender bias, and oppression.



  1. Participants will learn effective ways to discuss controversial subjects and identify and address personal triggers. 
  1. Participants will practice humility and vulnerability in order to hear others breaking the conspiracy of silence.  They will discuss how talking about race, religion and gender can improve your mental health. 
  2. At the end of the presentation participants will understand how to facilitate difficult discussions on race, gender and religion, engage others as allies in supporting each other and gam insight on the commonality and differences we all share. 

Medical Cannabis: Clinical Pearls

Shirshendu Sinha, M.B.B.S. M.D.


This session will focus of the practice parameters of Medical Cannabis in order to educate attendees on the topic. Dr. Sinha will present, through the use of a PowerPoint presentation, appropriate parameters in practice of Medical Cannabis. Attendees will discuss possible practical implications through general discussion and a Q&A session at the end of the presentation.



  1. To understand the demographics, risks and benefits of medical and recreational cannabis
  2. To understand the general medical and psychiatric indications for medical cannabis nationwide with attention to pain condition
  3. To understand the impact of cannabis legalization on Public Health

12:00 - 1:00 pm

Lunch & Networking

1:00 - 2:30 pm

Breakout Sessions

Yellow Line Project
The Past, Present and Future of Cannabis from the Perspective of Evidence-Based Methodology
Adolescent Marijuana Use

Smart Approaches to Marijuana in Minnesota

More Info

Yellow Line Project

Commander Matt DuRose


This session will educate participants on The Yellow Line Project.  The Yellow Line Project is designed to provide an early response to individuals with acute or chronic mental or chemical health problems who have become involved with law enforcement and are not a risk to the community. The Yellow Line Project enhances the resources and tools available to law enforcement so that residents of Blue Earth County get the right services at the right time and have strong incentives to participate in those services. 



  1. Participants will be able to name the goals of the Yellow Line Project. 
  2. By the end of the training, learners will be able to identify the benefits of early interventions for chronic mental or chemical health problems compared to incarceration. 
  3. Participants will be able to recall key performance indicators of The Yellow Line Project. 

The Past, Present and Future of Cannabis from the Perspective of Evidence-Based Methodology

Kristen Schmidt, MD, MAPH, Board Certified Addiction Psychiatrist; Roy Kammer, Ed.D., LADC, ADCR-MN, CPPR, LPC (SD), NCC; and Jeremiah Gardner


An analysis focused on the past, present and future of cannabis will be pursued from the perspective of evidence-based methodology. Our discussion will include an examination of historical and political determinants that influenced cannabis use. Randomized control trials evaluating the potential merit and detriment of cannabis use shall be reviewed and summarized. Presenter slides will be available to attendees to help solidify objectives. In addition, there will be time allotted to a question and answer session.



  1. The purpose of this activity is to review the history, biology and current research findings on cannabis use in order to enable providers to have informed discussions with their patients about cannabis. 
  2. Participants will understand cultural ambivalence around cannabis use disorder as a primary substance use disorder and how to approach patients entering treatment on cannabis products such as CBD. 
  3. Attendees will gain a basic understanding of evidence based modes for treating cannabis use that has become unmanageable for their patients. 

Adolescent Marijuana Use

Dr. Fred Dyer, PhD


Through the use of lecture, case studies, interactive group discussion and question and answer session participants will come to understand the attractiveness of marijuana use for adolescents as well as its impact on the development of positive youth development, social emotional learning and the utilization of resiliency and drug refusal skills.



  1. Learn 7 reasons for the attractiveness of marijuana for adolescents.
  2. Learn 22 risk factors for adolescent substance with a particular emphasize on school, family and environment , (i.e. school environmental risk factors with corresponding intervention/strategies for prevention). 
  3. Learn 9 evidence based principles for effective school based prevention of marijuana use as well as other substances ,(i.e/opioid and alcohol).

Smart Approaches to Marijuana in Minnesota

Judson (Kim) Bemis and Ken C. Winters, PhD


The activity will focus on salient public health issues that pertain to the medicalization and commercialization of marijuana.



  1. Participants will gain an understanding of how research can inform views and perceptions of marijuana and health.
  2. Participants will gain and appreciation of how marijuana laws may impact these health issues. 
  3. Participants will gain an understanding of key issues going forward for Minnesotan’s regarding marijuana and health. 

3:00 - 4:30 pm

Afternoon Keynote, Panel Discussion & Closing Notes

More Info

Lessons Learned from Colorado

Doyle Forrestal


Colorado was the first state to approve the use of Medical Marijuana in 2000 and Recreational Marijuana in 2012.  In the past 19 years many lessons have been learned in regards to public policy, regulation, public health and addiction treatment.  Doyle will present, through a live Zoom conference, a short history of the marijuana legalization in Colorado, the effects of marijuana legalization on substance use and mental health treatment, insights gained regarding public health and her suggestions in regards to marijuana policy for other states.  Doyle will be available via Zoom following the video presentation to answer participant’s questions. 



  1. By the end of this presentation participants will be able to identify the effects of legalization in the state of Colorado. 
  2. Participants will begin to formulate their own thoughts on cannabis regulations and become informed constituents to effectively influence policy makers in the state of Minnesota.  
  3. Participants will be able to apply the insights learned to affectively treat those suffering from cannabis use disorders. 

4:30 pm





Judson (Kim) Bemis

The presenters, Judson (Kim) Bemis and Ken C. Winters, Ph.D., are affiliated with Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota (Bemis is Chair; Winters is Research Advisor).


Kim Bemis began working in the field of addiction recovery in 2005 as the National Director of Development for the Hazelden Foundation and then in April of 2007 as the Executive Director of eVentures where he led the effort to expand Hazelden’s online business opportunities.  In 2010 Mr. Bemis cofounded Clere Consulting LLC., focusing on interventions and long-term case management for families of wealth.  Recently, Kim created Gobi, an innovative online drug and alcohol intervention program for adolescents and their families.

Commander Matt DuRose

Commander Matt DuRose of the Mankato Department of Public Safety.  Commander DuRose is a 19year law enforcement professional who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law Enforcement and a Master’s of Public Administration Degree, both from Minnesota State University-Mankato.  Commander DuRose has worked various assignments within the department including over 11 years supervising in the Patrol, Investigative, and Administrative functions.


Commander DuRose has been involved at the leadership and operational level of Blue Earth County’s Yellow Line Project since 2017.  He has trained personnel from multiple criminal justice and social services agencies across the country.

Fred Dyer, PhD, CADC

Fred Dyer Ph. D CADC is an internationally recognized speaker, trainer, author, and consultant who services juvenile justice detention/residential programs, child welfare, foster care agencies, substance use and mental health facilities and adolescent treatment agencies. Dr. Dyer over one hundred publications. Dr. Dyer has consulted throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He has provided training and consultation to the Mississippi Department of Mental Health as well as presented at Toronto Canada 50th Year Addition Studies Conference and at the Annual HayMarket Summer Institute and was lead consultant in the development for the Department of National Drug Controls after School Prevention Program for middle school youth in Hamilton Bermuda and has presented at several Drug Studies Schools throughout the Unites States.

Doyle Forrestal

Doyle Forrestal is the Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council (CBHC). Before rejoining CBHC in 2015, she served as the Executive Officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Region VIII, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs. In that capacity she helped implement provisions of the Affordable Care Act with state and tribal governments across the states of Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota.

Prior to working with HHS, she was the Director of Public Policy with CBHC and worked with the Colorado Legislature for nearly a decade. She has over 18 years of experience guiding, developing and implementing legislative strategy and policy at the federal, state and local levels.

She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado, and her law degree from Denver University.

Dr. Roy Kammer

Dr. Roy Kammer is an academician with a true passion for integrating student and academic affairs in higher education.  His scholarly activity has focused on mission-based provision of collegiate mental health services, outsourcing of collegiate mental health services, collegiate-specific co-occurring disorders, alcohol and other drug policy development and implementation, faculty and staff norms and perceptions of collegiate substance use and college student behavioral consolations.  Dr. Kammer was named the dean of the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies in July 2013.  Prior to his role as the graduate school’s dean, Dr. Kammer served as the program director of the Alcohol and Drug Studies Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

Andre Koen

Andre Koen serves as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota where he teaches students and professionals how to properly associate and treat patients from all cultures. Andre also worked as the EEO/Affirmative Action Diversity Coordinator for Anoka County, Minnesota, where He educated the community on State and Federal laws, statutes, rules, codes and regulations governing employment and human rights functions, including U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rules, Americans with Disability Act (ADA), and Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). Prior to his work in Anoka County, Andre was the Academic Dean at National American University, where he inspired mid-career adults to live their dreams and reach their full potential. Andre believes that people possess the ability to empower themselves, and this belief is made manifest by his unique style of teaching. 

Mike McGinnis

Mike McGinnis has worked in the chemical dependency field since he was 19.  He trained at the Heartview Foundation in Mandan, ND in 1975 and has enjoyed a varied and rewarding career, including starting a psychiatric unit in Iowa for codependency

Kevin A. Sabet, PhD

Dubbed by NBC News as the “prodigy of drug politics,” author, consultant, advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, and assistant professor, Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., has studied, researched, written about, and implemented drug policy for more than 20 years. He is currently the President and CEO of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), a non-profit organization he founded with Congressman Patrick Kennedy and David Frum. His book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, was published by Beaufort (Midpoint) in 2013, and will be released in its second edition at the end of 2017. He is also the co-editor of Marijuana and Contemporary Health, published by Oxford University Press, and an assistant adjunct professor at Yale University and an institute director at the University of Florida.

Kristen Schmidt, MD

Kristen Schmidt, MD is a board certified psychiatrist who completed her Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at UCLA, where she received advanced training in substance use disorders. She obtained her undergraduate degree in English at the University of California, Berkeley, prior to graduating with a Master’s Degree in Humanities from the University of Chicago. Her interest in psychiatry motivated her to enter medical school, where she graduated first in her class from the University of Illinois-College of Medicine at Peoria. Kristen then went on to General Psychiatry residency at Mayo Clinic.


During her residency, she obtained a grant to research the relationship between substance use disorders and hormones. She recently co-authored a chapter regarding this subject in an upcoming book entitled, The Assessment and Treatment of Addiction: Best Practices and New Frontiers. She is currently engaged in writing a chapter on stimulant use disorders for the American Psychiatric Association’s newest textbook on Substance Use Disorders. Her professional memberships include: American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association, Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism Society.

Thad Shunkwiler

Thad Shunkwiler is a licensed mental health professional and works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Science at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Professor Shunkwiler was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to the Task Force on Medical Cannabis Research in 2016. His research interest includes how chemical use impacts mental health symptomology and substance use prevention. Professor Shunkwiler has spoken at numerous national conferences and is well known for his engaging and dynamic presentation style.

Shirshendu Sinha, MBBSMD

Shirshendu Sinha, M.B.B.S. M.D. is a Mayo Clinic trained addiction psychiatrist, Consultant in the division of Addiction Psychiatry, Regional Chair, Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic Health System, Southwest Minnesota Region; Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, College of Medicine and Science, Mayo Clinic. He graduated from North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, West Bengal, India. He traveled across the continents and joined as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. He later completed adult psychiatry residency training at University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT, where he also served as Academic/Teaching Chief Resident. He subsequently pursued subspecialty training in addiction psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. He has received awards from Janssen Academic Research Mentorship Program, American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Neuroscience Education Institute, American Psychiatric Association Research Colloquium and UCare Foundation.


Dr. Sinha’s clinical and research interests are mood Disorders, adult ADHD, addictive disorders, art of Psychopharmacology, dual-Diagnosis, integration of mental health and addiction. He has authored several peer-reviewed journal articles and abstracts and presented at regional, national and international meetings

Jeff Wersal

Jeff Wersal has been the commander of the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force for the past five years.  He has been licensed as a police officer for 20 years working with the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office.  He is an engaging speaker facilitating trainings across the state.

Ken Winters, PhD

The presenters, Judson (Kim) Bemis and Ken C. Winters, Ph.D., are affiliated with Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota (Bemis is Chair; Winters is Research Advisor).


Dr. Winters is a Senior Scientist at the Oregon Research Institute (MN location) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota.  Dr. Winters retired as a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, where he founded and directed the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research for 25 years.  Along with Kevin Sabet, he co-edited Contemporary Health Issues on Marijuana, published in 2018 by Oxford University Press.



To receive a registration refund, less a $25 processing fee, all cancellations must be received online at by August 16, 2019 11:59 p.m. U.S. Central Time. No refunds will be granted thereafter. No-shows will not be refunded. Registrations can be transferred to another person within your organization with the same membership status by contacting

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