Medical Advisory Board

Our medical advisory board is a team of eminent NHS and private specialist clinicians who are responsible for constructing proposals to successfully deliver our national pilot and non-profit I am Billy clinic. Our clinicians are responsible for ensuring all medical and scientific statements are correct.

Trustees

Our trustees are a group of credible UK experts providing strategic advice on the execution of the campaign.

Matthew Lawson

Trustee, Barrister and Co Founder of the Canna Consultants

Matt was Called to the Bar in 1995. Prior to being Called, and for a period afterwards, he worked in The City for Kleinwort Benson, an Investment Bank. Following successful completion of the Bar Vocational Course and thereafter Pupillage he gained a Tenancy at Chambers in London, from where he has practiced ever since.

Initially his practice encompassed all Common Law areas but, in common with the rest of the Bar, over time the areas in which he practiced have diminished as his focus on specialist areas has increased. Therefore, for the vast majority of his time at the Bar his practice has centred on the area of “Regulatory Law” encompassing a number of professional fields, with some associated spin-off practice in linked areas.

Expanding discussions in respect of the “medicalization” and perceived “de-criminalisation” of cannabis and cannabinoids led Matt along with Steve to engage with this aspect of the regulatory world – leaving aside the “man on the street”, it was clear that market participants in the space were failing to understand what was being proposed, what market activities they were permitted to undertake and what they were permitted to say about such activities.

In short, we saw a market opportunity which did not involve traditional “legal advice” or “legal services”, but business advice which was given by someone with an understanding of the regulatory regime which was likely to be put in place in order for market participants to maximise their potential.

Often to be seen Chairing international conferences Matt applies his advocacy skills to panels and has spoken globally to the Cannabis Industry.

To that end, along with Steve Oliver, he formed The Canna Consultants as a Business Facilitation Consultancy. Since its formation matters have expanded so that we are currently working with Jurisdictions who wish to place themselves at the center of the world cannabinoid market, of which the Isle of Man is one.

Andy Morrison

Co Founder and Trustee Director I am Billy Foundation
As Co-Founder and Trustee of The I am Billy Foundation, Andy Morrison plays a key role in the organisation and governance of its affairs. Originally educated as a chemical engineer, Andy has for many years been intrigued by the sustainable credentials and wide application of the industrial hemp plant. Through his role as Chair of Hemspan Ltd, Andy is engaged in pioneering the use of industrial hemp to create net-zero housing. Through his role as an independent non-executive director of Kanabo Group Plc, Andy has been actively involved in the emergence of the CBD and medical cannabis sectors in the UK and beyond. Since 2007, Andy has become an experienced junior public company director and chair. His prior career was in international commercial roles in Shell, BG Group and BOC Group. Category: Trustee

Philip Eisenhart

Co Founder of Push Things forward

Philip has worked in politics and the media since 1997, when his first business collaborated with the publisher at the New Statesman, the UK’s oldest political periodical. With Tony Blair and the Labour Party in power again after an absence of nearly 20 years, the New Statesman became the leading platform for policy debate between interest groups and government. We designed roundtables and published policy documents and supplements on issues such as the Regions, New Consumerism, Integrated Transport and New Media.

In 2001, following the inception of Scottish Parliament, Philip helped establish Holyrood Communications and Holyrood magazine, Scotland’s leading political communications and media company. After seven years in Edinburgh Philip moved back to London to establish a campaigns function at Dods PLC, the world’s oldest political intelligence business. He went on to head up their Parliament division and was instrumental in developing politicshome.com and revamping the House magazine – the in-house magazine for MPs.

More recently Philip has been helping the vertical farm sector establish itself in the UK.

His proudest achievements include helping to mainstream public consultation and at the same time wind farms, ensuring the Kurdish genocides in Iraq were finally officially recognised by UK Parliament, enshrining LGBT rights in Scotland’s Mental Health Act and helping to bring gun

Stephen Oliver

Co Founder of the Canna Consultants

Role/Description: Steve is a former HM Customs and Excise Officer, involved in a wide sphere of work, from becoming a Civil Service Accredited Teacher/Trainer to receiving Commendations for Bravery in Undercover Work. During that time Steve assumed various legal roles including representing HMRC at Magistrates courts and in a leading role in a number of high-profile prosecutions. He spent some six years as an investigator in London and the UK before leaving in 2000.

After leaving his Government role, Steve moved to KPMG, where he was later to head-up their Producer Responsibility – European Environment Law Team (2000 – 2005), advising clients including Sony, Harley Davidson, Manchester United and Booker.

Steve left KPMG to set up his own business and to read for a Degree, where he proved academically gifted, receiving the 14 “subject prizes” while an undergraduate, culminating in the award of the Academy Prize and the Quantum LLP Prize (each in 2010). Steve has worked as a visiting lecturer for both undergraduate and post graduate master’s students specialising in Business Law, Employment law, Contract law and European law. In 2011 he became a member of the National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP)

Thereafter, Steve set up his own business consultancy service and entered the Cannabinoid space in 2016. Stephen has extensive contacts across the globe within the industry and has experience in cultivation, extraction and processing. He has advised on cultivation, extraction, manufacturing as well as product development, testing and regulatory compliance across multiple jurisdictions. An accomplished public speaker he is regularly requested to provide KeyNote Speeches at industry events and dissect complex regulatory frameworks for both industry specialists and the public. He is the other Co-founder of The Canna Consultants.

Roisin Delaney

Editor, The CANNAVIST
Róisín Delaney is the editor of The CANNAVIST Magazine, the UK & Ireland’s first CBD & medical cannabis publication, in circulation since January 2019. Róisín has a decade of experience in multiple media formats, including radio and print, focusing on health & wellbeing publications since 2015. Before launching The CANNAVIST Magazine for Orange Fox Media Ltd, Róisín completed a Master’s degree in Journalism at Dublin City University having previously studied at the University of Limerick. Róisín worked in Ireland and in the US for consumer lifestyle and high income magazines around women’s health & wellbeing topics. Now in the legal cannabis space, Róisín’s creative portfolio includes print and digital publishing, podcast and webinar hosting, and cannabis-specific event coordination. In January 2020, a year after launching The CANNAVIST, Róisín oversaw the introduction of the first ever cannabis publication on British newsstands, with The CANNAVIST now available in WH Smith high street outlets, MMRG convenience stores and independent retailers across the UK. As a journalist, Róisín is driven by the compelling stories of patients and advocates, which she believes can help drive change.

Dom Day

Co-Founder, FourFive

Dom Day has been a professional rugby player for 14 years. He played in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and has 250+ top flight games to his name. His long rugby career has taken him around the globe to places including England, Australia and Japan, and finished his career as a proud member of the English Premiership club Saracens. Towards the end of his career, Dom became an advocate for cannabis after using it as an alternative to high strength medicine in his recovery from injuries and training. He is passionate about player welfare and wants athletes to have the benefits of natural recovery methods like cannabis. He is now retired from professional rugby and is enjoying running fourfive full-time.

Derek White

Single father to an amazing son with Autism. My world. Founder Compassionate Club ROI. Director of HMP Biotech LTD. Thousands of people are unable to access the medicine they need due to financial restraints and creating a system in which the most in need are ones left behind. I am proud to be supporting I am Billy.

Simon Harrison

As a passionate cannabis reform campaigner I have long advocated for the myriad benefits of the cannabis plant as a medicine for health and well-being, as well as for it’s potential for improving the environment through the creation of sustainable, carbon-neutral products made from hemp.

In May 2020 we established the End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey campaign to address the wider subject of cannabis reform, which quickly became the focal point for local patients seeking access to medicinal cannabis from UK clinics. The Jersey Medicinal Cannabis Patient Alliance was created thereafter to provide a forum for patients to share their experiences with medicinal cannabis and to advocate and campaign for further reforms on behalf of the community.

While successful campaigns in recent years have brought much-needed reforms to allow the prescription of medicinal cannabis, further work is now required to ensure accessibility and affordability for those patients in greatest need of this life-changing medication.

Adam Martel

I work as a Service Delivery Manager at the GTA University Centre applying my extensive skills and experience in logistics, operational issues, administration and marketing. I have worked at the GTA for just over 5 years and lead a small team of seven.

I am Guernsey born local resident. In September 2020, we were finally  allowed to access medical cannabis in Guernsey via private UK clinics and request the relevant import/export licenses to coincide with any prescription issued. After many years of lobbying for this, Guernsey patients started to book in their private consultations. Shortly after we set up the online Facebook support group and we have now helped over 250 islanders to date (our private patient group on facebook page has close to 800 members). I am also a Medical Cannabis patient and have been on my cannabis medication in Guernsey for the past 8 months (since September 2020) for ongoing pain related issues. Previously I first was issued medical cannabis in 2017 back in Florida. 

I will continue to support all medical cannabis related issues and push for further changes to be made to make MC more accessible and affordable for all that may need it. We have plenty of work to do.

Phil Kilv

Founder, Weed World Magazine

Phil has been involved in the Cannabis Industry since 1980, when he launched Weed World magazine in 1991 for Glastonbury festival originally and had a presence there for 20 years. Weed World was the first Cannabis publication on the British news-stands, headshops, comic shops in the UK, it is now global and in Barnes & Noble, Liquor stores, airports and many other places.

Phil ran the first ever legal Hemp expo 2004 & 2005 at Wembley Exhibition Centre, and several others in the years thereafter. Phil stepped down from running Weed World in 2012 to concentrate further on breeding THC & high CBD strains.

Phil owns, runs the management and the breeding programs for multiple established brands including Emerald Triangle Seeds, Genofarms and Sunbelt Seeds (with partners that own a large facility in South Carolina); their CBD strains were the first to receive AOSCA certification in USA and are compliant with US federal law.
Phil is also a Cannabis Consultant to Governments world-wide and has knowledge on all sizes of grows from indoor / outdoor / greenhouse small to commercial large scale grows.
 
Phil has been collecting genetics from all over the world since the early 80’s. His breeding program has created in excess of 400 THC strains and dozens of CBD and other Cannabinoid strains.

Samantha Hitchman

Editor-in-Chief, Weed World Magazine

Samantha is the Editor-n-Chief of Weed World magazine (the second longest running Cannabis publication in the world – 30 years). Samantha took over the running of Weed World in 2012 and stripped back the magazine taking it back to its former roots with the main focus on Medical Marijuana / CBD for patients, while still looking at global legislation and changes on the Cannabis stage. Samantha introduced the digital version of the magazine and separated Weed World shop from the magazine as the shop dominated the magazine.

Samantha negotiated and helped establish an Italian version of Weed World – 2018, this has now been bought back inhouse and is overseen by Samantha. Samantha is also a Brand Manager for 8 different brands within the Cannabis & CBD industry and manages the team who do the day to day tasks, all of these brands are under Phil Kilv’s umbrella.

Samantha’s background was originally in Corporate Marketing and she worked in the commercial sector for nearly 10-years prior before joining Weed World magazine.

Patient Counsel

Patients are at the core of the I am Billy campaign and want to ensure patients have a platform and voice within it. The campaign’s patient counsel will ensure patients are a central focus, publicly supporting and offering their input into the expansion of the campaign.

The patient counsel is made up of credible and positive minded medical cannabis patients to provide support to the campaign across the UK and Crown Dependencies.

Patient Counsel

Cheryl Keen

Patient Counsel Chair

Cheryl is a mother of 4 children, Charlotte (Charlie) 32, who is disabled and suffers from retractable Epilepsy, and triplet sons aged 27. All 3 boys are Aerospace Engineers trained by British Airways.

Cheryl started her Medicinal Cannabis journey in 2015 when looking for a more natural and holistic approach to try to treat Charlie’s epilepsy and move away from the harsh pharmaceutical AED’s which left Charlie lethargic, sleepy and semi-comatose and took away her mobility.

Charlie acquired a Medical Cannabis private prescription Dec 2019 and begun her legal Cannabis journey very slowly, with low dosing/titrating. Today Charlie’s seizures are very much reduced.

Christina Dowds-Dillon

Advocacy Director

Mum to three boys and a little angel. Medically retired injured police officer. Criminal psychology undergraduate. Swimming teacher, fitness and wellbeing advocate and Yoga student.

Lin Coxon

Vice Chair

Lin Coxon, married to Mick. We have four children and ten grandchildren. I work for Heather Wheeler MP as her Office Manager. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2017 and benefited from using cannabis oil.

Jayne Christie

Research Director

I am Jayne Christie. I am 43 years old, I was born in South Africa and have been a passionate cannabis advocate for many years. I moved to Jersey, Channel Islands in 2006.  I have been using cannabis for the past 25 years to treat chronic back pain as a result of a growth spurt that caused mild scoliosis at 16 years of age.  I also use it to aid with sleep, which I have persistently had issues with since the scoliosis set in.

I am a chef by trade. However, due to the pain, lack of sleep and elevated stress levels, in 2015 I left the brutal hospitality industry and started working as a Health Care Assistant.

In May 2020 I managed to obtain a legal cannabis prescription through a clinic in London.  I am currently an administrator for the Jersey Medical Cannabis Patients Alliance, as well as a moderator for the End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey group.  I hope to help push cannabis reform to the forefront and sincerely feel the time has come for us all to fully realise and acknowledge the benefits of this amazing little plant.

Advocacy and Research Committee

Karen Gillespie

Patient Advocacy

Mother to 6 grown up  children, 4 grandchildren, married to Robert 26 years. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia arthritis. Tried all sorts of tablets like maxitram tablets and morphine patches lyrica that did not work . Last resort started to take Cannabis oil and slowly came off all the tablets.  I can’t believe how much my life has changed, not on tablets anymore I am me again. I got my life back.

Malieka Samson

Patient Research

I am a locally born 37yr old female living in Jersey. I am the newest edition to the JMCPA team. I started my career in the finance industry at the young age of 19 and have gained various experience across the banking and trust administration sector, settling into the lending industry. Whilst predominantly working in the finance industry for the past 18 years and this appealing to my organisational skills I have always been drawn to wanting to help people, to advocate and empower them to make their own decisions.

I have been a Cannabis user for a long time. I have two underlying conditions which used to be treated by pharmaceuticals, these pharmaceuticals came with side effects. When one condition was being treated it would flare the other, I was in a constant repetitive cycle of pain. Anyone who has suffered chronic pain will understand how deliberating it is, it steals your health, your sleep, your enthusiasm for life. When the opportunity finally arose to become a medicinal cannabis patient I jumped at the chance for an improvement to my life. This was in July 2020, and since then I have not looked back. I am on my way to feeling like I have some normalcy in my life again. I want to use my experience to help others find their voice, realise that there is hope, no matter your situation.

This is the reason why I also asked to join JMCPA as an administrator. I want to show people that it is ok to speak up, ask for help and to try something new. Cannabis has been my life saver and I want everyone and anyone to understand the benefits of this amazing plant.

Daniel Ian Woosnam

Patient Advocacy

I’m 36 years old and live in Jersey (Channel Islands) I’m not originally from Jersey, my family moved here from England (Shropshire) when I was 9 years old. I went to a good school and I’m from a privileged background. 

When I was 15-16 I started using cannabis recreationally at school. Which in time actually got me expelled. At this time in my life I wasn’t aware that cannabis was a medicine, I had it inline with other illegal drugs in my mind. 

I used cannabis illegally for my whole adult life. Slowly becoming more and more aware how this plants has many healing properties. I started to notice cannabis working for me much better than all the other medications I have been on in the past.

For the past year I have been obtaining medicinal cannabis legally from different clinics in the UK and in Jersey. Although cost has been high,  I would say its the best thing that has happened to my health period. I’m also happy that I don’t have to use the blackmarket anymore.

I just hope that things will continue to progress forward with medicinal cannabis and make it easier and more accessible for patients.

James Bedding

Patient Advocacy

I grew up living on the beautiful island of Jersey.  I have been using cannabis for over 20 years to self-medicate. I had a spinal injury that left me paralyzed from the shoulders down after an accident at the age of 15. I am now 38 years of age and this last year 2020 I finally was able to get medical cannabis flower on prescription.

 I also run a website called www.VaporizerHut.co.uk where I sell medical-grade Vaporizer’s which are suitable for dry herb cannabis flower. I also aim to offer friendly advice for people looking to buy a vaporizer for use with medical cannabis.

 I also have a YouTube channel which I set up reviewing the various different cannabis Vaporizer is available – https://www.youtube.com/cannaquad

 I truly am passionate about cannabis and believe it should be accessible to anyone that truly can benefit from this amazing plant.

Ed McDonald

Patient Research
I have been struggling to manage my anxiety and depression for nearly 15 years, having been prescribed many forms of SSRI’s and SNRIs during this time – which did help my condition but ultimately left me in a zombie like state. I found these types of medicines to be less effective than CBPM’s in managing day to day life. I have been prescribed cannabis for nearly a year now and seen a massive improvement with my mental health and overall well-being. During my time as a cannabis patient, I have worked closely with local patients to help form JMCPA – a dedicated patient alliance group based in Jersey Channel Islands. I’m also part of the team at The Cannabis Pages – a patient centered listing website, designed for cannabis patients and prescribers, giving them a better understanding of the medications available.

Alex Bealey

Patient Research & Advocacy

Alex Bealey was born and raised in Jersey, he spent a few years travelling and has now settled in St Brelade with his wife and three children. Educated at Victoria College and Highlands College. His employment experience is varied, from finance, childcare and hospitality. The last 10 years he has been employed in the Care industry, in a variety of different roles and positions, from children with special needs, elderly and physical disabilities.

He has been a medicinal user of cannabis for over 15 years and of course, advocating for cannabis during this time and firm believer of growing your own medicine. He was one of the first patients in jersey to receive a prescription (for medcan) in April, last year; using his knowledge he created a ‘how to guide’ for other Jersey Patients to access medcan posting it on the End Cannabis Prohibition Jersey Facebook site and thus doing sparked the flame for medcan in Jersey.

Since then he went on to found the Jersey Medicinal Cannabis Patient Alliance (Facebook group) which currently has 1.4k members and continues to help patients access medcan. The group exists to assist patients not only with the process of accessing medcan (which has been simplified since the opening of local private clinics) but with advice on what is available to patients (strains/oils), what pricing, what vaporisers/how to use and working alongside the clinics/pharmacies.

Alex is enthusiastic about everything cannabis! A self proclaimed Cannageek, but most importantly it’s about the patients and helping people.

Karel Molly

Patient Research

Im Karel. I’m lucky enough to have grown up in the wilds of rural Co. Down. I left home to come up to “the big smoke” to attend Queens University where I somehow managed to achieve a BSc in Psychology. I got my first admin job armed with said degree and no common sense!

I’ve been fortunate enough to work at an administrative level at some incredibly interesting offices across the Civil Service and Criminal Justice System. I was forced to medically retire on ill health grounds almost 7 years ago now.

My partner Andy and I have 2 dogs – Penny and Jax who get far too spoiled, and a nephew who is my comic book loving nerd twin. I’m one of the lucky ones; I have family and friends who support one another. I think it’s our responsibility as human beings to step up and help out those are aren’t so lucky.

Martin O’Neill

Patient Advocacy & Admin

At 33 years old I had a surgical mesh implanted for an inguinal hernia. I have just turned 40. For the past 7 years I can only describe my life as being utterly tortured by this plastic medical device. It has taken everything. Everything of who I was, of whom I was to become, of the life I was creating of my own choice and volition. Surgical polypropylene mesh has taken all of that from me. It has destroyed all of my dreams and it has destroyed me. My life, my job, my band. Time taken from family and friends. The amount of times I have been unable to be with my family and friends due to the unadulterated seething crippling pain that has landed me in hospital more times than I would care to remember.

Walking, when possible I’m dealing with having electrical shocks and spasms in the groin. I see people staring. Looking at me as if I’m a creature at times. I can’t travel any more. I had a medical appointment in London last year. Upon return from that, whilst in flight, I had to ask the cabin crew to have an ambulance ready for me on the runway as my spasms had become so severe. Beside me a family with a young baby, and I tried so hard to contain it. But the screaming pain didn’t care. The ketamine, opiates, benzodiazepines and multiple other pills and muscle relaxants I had couldn’t stop this. I feel like this mesh has its own agenda trying to rip my muscles from my bones. I’m screaming in pain. Everyone can see I’m hurting, but not the reason why. If you seen me that day, in that pain, and you saw that pain in my face, and that fear in my eyes, if you heard me screaming crying, if you seen any of this that day, that is why I’m sharing my story. Don’t become like me and countless others. It was all caused by a small piece of plastic surgical mesh. Please I don’t ever want you, or anyone to suffer this the way I and many others do. I don’t ever want others to see what they seen that day. This is why I am sharing one day of my story. If it can save one less victim, please share this story with all you meet. Please ask the thousands more stories behind mine.