Ignorance Still Plagues The Field Of Cannabis Medicine
Despite the shifting attitude toward cannabis around the globe and the easing of international restrictions, the continued misunderstanding of the endocannabinoid system and cannabis-related medicine regularly causes an adverse impact in the world — for no good reason.
In recent weeks I was speaking with my good friend and fellow industry professional Dr. Uma Dhanabalan. She was livid. For those who know Dr. Uma, she is a compassionate, intelligent, and caring person. But that isn’t to say she cannot get fired up.
She has recently received a Notice of Non-Renewal of Insurance. This Notice from the Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company (the Hartford) informed Dr. Uma that her property insurance for her office in Cambridge, MA had been canceled.
You see, Dr. Uma is a highly respected physician trained in Family Medicine and Occupational & Environmental Medicine, a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and a Diplomate Certified in Cannabinoid Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of Newark, New Jersey, and did her Family Practice Residency at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston. She got her Master’s in Public Health, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, with a Residency and Fellowship in heavy metals from the Harvard School of Public Health. She has received the Resident Research Awards from the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine for her research project “Occupational & Environmental Exposure to Lead in South India,” and attended the 7th World Ayurveda Conference & Arogya Expo, where she presented “Cannabis & The Therapeutic Uses.”
She’s also worked for Kimberly Clark as Regional Medical Director for Asia Pacific, and many years ago, she founded Uplifting Health & Wellness and Global Health & Hygiene Solutions, LLC, with a mission to promote wellness and prevent illness.
“Cannabis is not an entrance drug, it is an exit drug from pharmaceuticals and narcotics.” – Dr. Dhanabalan
Despite a decorated career in medicine and international recognition, the Hartford was cancelling her property insurance for the Global Health and Hygiene Solutions office in Cambridge because “[the Hartford] has learned from totalheathcarethc.com [Dr. Uma’s website] that her operations include Cannabinoid Medicine.” The letter does not allege that Dr. Uma was selling cannabis products onsite or even using them on site. She neither sells nor utilizes cannabis products on site but is merely a physician and medical consultant with a particular expertise in the well-recognized brand of cannabinoid medicine. It is scientifically established and deals with the most sensitive and perhaps the most powerful regulatory system in the human body – the endocannabinoid system.
So why would the Hartford cancel Dr. Uma’s fire and extended property insurance for simply practicing medicine? Is the Hartford creating a distinction related to the practices of well-educated, licensed physicians in the cannabinoid field because the company does not understand any of this? Or does the Hartford want to prevent practitioners from advising patients in this well-recognized field of medicine? Perhaps this is part of a more generalized effort by the Hartford to examine the technical practices of their customers’ businesses on a micro level in order to control property uses and influence their businesses?
Surely the Hartford would rather not have their customers lie about what they do on site. Simply put, there is absolutely no increased risk for a property insurer where one of its insured business locations happens to be a physician helping people get better – by providing answers to cancer patients, to children with seizure conditions, and to so many more medical issues that can scientifically be treated with cannabis. It’s worth reiterating, the endocannabinoid system is not junk science.
The fact that this is happening today – in 2021 – with vast cannabis policy reform and controlled substance treatment occurring all around the world, and in a state where cannabis is actually legal for all purposes, makes one wonder what was the Hartford thinking? Get with the times.