Medical Cannabis Speakers

Heather Zwickey, PhD, trained at the world renowned National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver.  She earned a Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Dr. Zwickey went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship and teach medical school at Yale University. At the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR, Dr. Zwickey launched the Helfgott Research Institute and established the School of Graduate Studies, developing programs in research, nutrition, and global health among others. She currently leads an NIH funded clinical research training program at NUNM. She teaches at NUNM, the University of Western States and Maryland University of Integrative Health. At Helfgott Research Institute, Dr. Zwickey applies her immunology expertise to natural medicine. She studies the immunological and neurological mechanisms involved in nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and mind-body therapies, with specific interest in the gut-brain axis in Parkinson’s disease.


Jake F. Felice, ND, is an accomplished naturopathic physician with extensive experience in cannabinoid therapeutics.  He is licensed to practice in the states of Washington and California.  Dr. Felice develops cannabis educational materials for academia and private businesses. His CME cannabis courses for doctors and pharmacists have now been translated into three languages.  Dr. Felice is a leading expert in the area of topical cannabis.



Jeanette Jacknin, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist, author, national speaker, and consultant, with expertise in holistic dermatology, natural cosmeceuticals, and topical hemp and cannabinoids for beauty and health.   Dr. Jacknin recently became interested in hemp, CBD, and cannabis topically and in beauty and skin care. She contributed the July blog to Natural Products Insider on hemp and CBD topically, in beauty and skin care. She spoke at the Sept 2016 Cannabis World Conference and Business Expo in Los Angeles, California on the topic of the endocannabinoid system in skin and related proven therapies and spoke again at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine in Las Vegas in December of 2016 and the Happi conference in November 2017 on hemp, CBD, and THC in beauty and skin diseases. She also spoke at the prestigious MJBIZCon in Las Vegas November 2017 on the difference between hemp and marijuana businesses. Dr. Jacknin was the first dermatologist to speak on the science behind topical cannabinoids and skin disorders at the Annual American Academy of Dermatology conference in February 2018.


Michelle Sexton, ND, is Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anesthesia at the University of California San Diego. She earned her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle Washington, 2008. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Her NIH- funded pre-doctoral and postdoctoral research on the topic of cannabinoids and their roles in neuro-inflammation and neuro-degeneration, investigated cannabis use and in patients with Multiple Sclerosis and impact on inflammatory markers. She has presented her research internationally and is published in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Sexton’s clinical practice, research and teaching focus is on the endocannabinoid system and potential roles for cannabis across a range of conditions and age groups. She is a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, the International Association of Cannabinoid Medicine and the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. She maintains a small medical practice in San Diego, CA.


Vincent SliwoskiVincent Sliwoski is a business lawyer, problem solver and dealmaker. His clients run the gamut from individual investors and entrepreneurs to widely held domestic and international corporations. He is the managing attorney of our Portland office and he was recently named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine, an honor bestowed on only 2.5% of eligible Oregon attorneys. He has particular expertise in business/corporate, commercial real estate and intellectual property law, and he is a leading practitioner in Oregon’s rapidly-evolving cannabis industry. Vince’s analysis and advice is guided by a heightened awareness of all possible outcomes: in his litigating days, he tried cases in four Oregon counties and conducted numerous arbitrations and mediations.

Vince graduated from Lewis and Clark Law School, where he now teaches Cannabis Law & Policy as an adjunct professor (he also publishes our law firm’s award-winning Canna Law Blog). In his student days, Vince was inducted into the Cornelius Honor Society for scholarship, leadership and service. He was also champion of the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Mid-Atlantic Competition and won best U.S. Brief in 2009.


Shena Vander Ploeg, ND, personal health journey has helped her understand the limitations and frustrations many people experience with healthcare. She takes time to listen and investigate your case to uncover the root cause of your health concerns. She empowers her patients to develop self-care practices that integrate with their lifestyle and supports their health, enabling them to reach their health goals. Dr. Vander Ploeg recognizes the mental, emotional, and physical components of health and creates treatment plans that incorporate these various areas. Her process aims to strengthen our relationships with ourselves as well as with others.