Guest: John Malanca
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: John and Corrine Malanca are founders of United Patients Group. (UPG) is a resource in Medical Cannabis information for physicians, patients and organizations. UPG acts as a virtual hand for patients, by helping them navigate through this ever-changing industry with CME education courses and one-on-one consulting to physicians and medical institutions.
Segment overview: John Malanca, founder of United Patients Group (UPG), a leading resource in medical cannabis information and accredited education, talks about the recent (May 2016) 2nd annual conference “Medical Cannabis: The Science. The Truth.”
Health Professional Radio – UPG 2nd Annual Conference
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, thank you so much for joining us today. In studio today with us is returning guest Mr. John Malanca, Founder of United Patients Group, a leading resource in medical cannabis information and accredited education. He’s returned with us to talk about the recent second annual conference known as “Medical Cannabis: The Science. The Truth.” Welcome back to Health Professional Radio John.
Mr. John Malanca: Thank you for having me.
N: Thank you. The recent conference, the second annual conference held this past May, it was called “Medical Cannabis: The Science. And The Truth.” Talk about the goal of this second annual conference and is it the second annual because the first one was so successful in raising awareness?
J: Yeah, it was funny. We didn’t start the company to be in the conference business but the information that’s out there, the lack of information that’s out there and the request people would always say why don’t you do a conference. So we did a conference last year called Medical Cannabis: The Science. The Hype which was extremely successful and so we said “Okay, let’s do it again.” As people were asking us when is the next one. And then what makes our conferences different than the others is it’s strictly educational, it’s in a college, university setting very similar to medical school and we reach out to the medical community. It seems like every time we do a conference, there’s a conference in our industry, it’s the same people attending and the same speakers and so we reach out even further to the medical professionals that are on the fence, that are curious, that are against medical cannabis or looking to educate themselves. This year I didn’t tell yet the story Neal, but this year we had about 85% medical professionals that attended and what makes our conferences also standout is that they are accredited, we offer CME accreditation, our courses are CME accredited as well as we do CEUs for the nurses and then we do a three day event, the first day was our pre-conference and nurses’ workshop and then on Saturday and Sunday was for the nurses, medical professionals and the public.
N: When you hear the word conference, you are reaching out to medical professionals but being in the medical cannabis industry, cannabis, medical and recreational – it’s an industry. What about investors or booths that we normally find of vendors and things of that nature that are trying to sell their ideas? Or something that maybe you’re not necessarily a ‘for or against to’, but it’s a conference atmosphere. What are we talking about here?
J: Yes. And actually that’s another thing that makes our conferences different is that we do not have boothing. At our conference we feel that doctors and medical professionals want to come to spend a weekend with us but come to learn and so not saying that boothing is wrong but from the doctors that we worked with over the years they would prefer just to come in, get their education and they come back the next day instead of being stopped at a smoking section or having to walk thru a smoking section or stop at…booths and so that’s just our personal view on this, I’ve been to great conferences that you have the boothing, I’ve been part of conferences that have booting and so we just thought that our conferences are different for that reason and we do it at Dominican University that university local here in the Northern California area and so again it brings the university setting where doctors don’t mind that again are on this fence of wanting to learn about medical cannabis and they don’t know which side they’re on but they do feel more comfortable attending university style conference.
N: Now I understand your roster of speakers includes politicians, nurses, physicians, researchers even authors, professional athletes, police officers, you name it. Now, I understand you can’t, as one person talk to everybody there or filled each question that may be posted in this workshop or that workshop. But in your experience what is maybe the one question or topic that you seem to find yourself discussing with health professionals when it comes to medical cannabis or cannabis in general? From your own stand point, what’s that one topic that you need to talk about with these folks to get them to either understand one way or the other?
J: Well I think they want to see firsthand the patients that we do have at our conference, share their success stories. Of course seeing my father in law alive and living, he just had his 7th lung and brain scan about 3 months ago and knock on wood all 7 have come back with no evidence of recurrent disease. So patients like to see success stories, we had a young boy Coltyn Turner that has Crohn’s disease and he’s a wonderful, wonderful little guy but he’s successful. He started off in an illegal state, cannabis was not their lifestyle, he was 11 at the time when he and his family try to move to Colorado and they had success. He’s 16 now, been expecting him to live pass his 11th birthday and he’s 16th and thriving and I love his motto is “I’d rather be illegally alive than legally dead.” But he was a draw at our conference because it brings the humanistic effect when you see a child in there, but having the research, having the science behind this and what a lot of doctors ask us is “Does this really work?” And when they see other medical professionals sharing the science, they feel more comfortable on so their patients are asking about this now.
N: Talk about the future of UPG, Corinne.
Mrs. Corinne Malanca: Hi Neal.
N: As you see the future unfolding as your mission being to be a leading resource for information and education as far as medical cannabis is concerned.
C: Yes, absolutely. We find that the key to patients getting the proper direction and the proper care will start with education not only for themselves but for local and foreign governments, physicians, nurses, pharmacists which we work with them all and our goal is to start from the top-down and create a community of scientifically backed information all the way so that it’ll trickle down to the patients, so they don’t have to waste time. We find that a lot of patients have wasted time reading on the internet, information about formulations and dosing and they buy products, a lot of people at end their life and to waste that time, that time is so precious. So we focus on streamlining the process, helping patients, local and foreign governments to avoid tangled web of information and streamline it so that patients can get the proper help. So our goal is to expand as largely as possible so this help is readily available to patients, physicians, nurses and so on.
N: Now in wrapping up Corinne, how can our listeners become involved and help UPG in your efforts?
C: Well number one we are a non-profit. Our educational division of our company is non-profit, so always donations help. It cost us quite a bit of money to put on these educational symposiums, we had self funded for 5 years and thankfully we finally have our 501(C)3. So donations help a lot, we are educating nurses quarterly, so the more donations we have, the more globally we can impact the world in this science. So that’s number one, of course we have ambassadors all over the world, we’re always expanding that. We’re always in need of writers and we’re happy to supply anybody with paperwork and information if they want to be bringing it to their medical community, we have a lot of people that do that for us. So they can just call our office and ask what would suit them best for whatever demographic they’re in and we would be happy to place them somewhere to help us.
N: Great. And if you’ll travel to unitedpatientsgroup.com just click on the Get Involve link that you’ll find at the website on the homepage, you can learn more about the UPG conference, learn how you can donate, volunteer some of your time. It’s been great talking with both of you and John, Corinne.
C: Thanks so much.
N: Thank you. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm and you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.