Dawn-Marie Steenstra LPN, SDC, IC, QA

Speaking at the Cannabis Science Conference

Dawn-Marie has been a passionate patient advocate for nearly 4 decades. For over 20 years she operated an assisted living facility in her own home caring for elderly, primarily psychiatric patients. She worked with Maryland state regulators during the crafting of the state’s assisted living regulations and was the only Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in the State of Maryland to oversee her own facility as a Designating Nurse.  In her nursing career she has held positions in management, staff development, infection control, and quality assurance.

A severe car accident with resulting spinal surgery in 1999-2001, had placed Dawn-Marie squarely in both pain management treatment and utilizing many narcotics, benzodiazepines, muscle relaxers and invasive injections for over 18 years before she finally tried utilizing full spectrum hemp tinctures and cannabis. Conventional treatments had failed her and the shame she was made to feel trying to fill narcotic prescriptions at various pharmacies took a toll on her life.  Once she took the leap of faith, through careful dosing, product verification and patience journaling the effects, she successfully weaned herself off ALL of her previous medications. She has been utilizing high CBD full spectrum tinctures and when THC became available, she added THC to help with sleep at night and menopausal symptoms. To date she has been narcotic free for 5 years and counting.

Dawn-Marie has studied Cannabinoid Therapeutics since 2012 and holds multiple certifications in the history, science and clinical patient management of cannabis as a therapy in health and wellness. As an organizational board member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association she worked regularly with national advocate organizations regarding regulatory issues and then Maryland’s LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission on educational practices. She frequently is asked to submit state testimony for policy adjustments related to the therapeutic potential  of cannabis and lobbies with other advocates from Americans For Safe Access and The National Cannabis Industry Association in our nation’s capital. Dawn-Marie serves on the Cannabis Nurses Network as a founding member and Speakers Bureau mentor and educator. Dawn-Marie is a National Ambassador for United Patients Group and has been actively involved in public outreach over the past 5 years on social media and speaks publicly educating patients regarding the safe application of cannabis therapeutics in legal states.

Dawn’s vision is that nurses have a unique placement in the cannabis industry to directly interface with primary and recommending physicians in care planning for patient’s best outcomes and safety in practice. These  plans incorporate complex comorbidities and will focus on harm reduction with the use of pharmaceuticals in treatment.  Improving individual patient’s quality of life and relieving suffering is her mission.  The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission granted Dawn-Marie her wish after years of advocating to have cannabis nurses utilized as Clinical Directors in the state. In January of 2020, alongside 8 others, she became one of the very first cannabis nurses licensed to be a dispensary Clinical Director. She believes that “Every patient deserves a trusted nurse advocate. Every patient deserves “Nature’s Healing Touch.”