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Intro to Jessilyn Dolan

Heady Vermont Staff 18 Apr 2018

Editor’s Note: One of our new collaborators here at Heady Vermont is multi-talented healer Jessilyn (pronounced Jessie-Lynn) Dolan, founder of Vermont Cannabis Nurses Association. She’ll be writing a regular column addressing a range of issues related to medical cannabis, but we thought we’d start with an introduction.

Hi folks. My name is Jessilyn Dolan and I’m a registered nurse, herbalist, doula, body worker, and a cannabis cultivation and medication consultant.

I was raised by hippie parents and an herbalist great grandmother with alternative healing as an integral and important part of our family. So, in the family tradition, right after high school, I started studying with renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. I then moved on to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Reiki, and massage therapy and taught courses at Community College of Vermont on massage therapy, Reflexology, and Anatomy and Physiology for Eastern and Western Philosophies.

My goal is to help clients choose, grow, craft and heal themselves with disease-specific cannabis strains. As a cannabis advocate and consultant, I can help to bridge the gap between patients, doctors, specialists, medical dispensaries and CBD producers.

After having my first child, I was drawn into birth work, and became a labor and postpartum doula, hypnobirthing childbirth educator, infant massage instructor, and owned and operated a family wellness center and yoga studio. I started Vermont’s International Cesarean Awareness Network, and train labor doulas throughout the country, speaking at national conferences on birth support for vulnerable populations.  

For the last five years, I was the nurse manager at Lund Family Center, a residential treatment program for pregnant and parenting women with mental health, opioid and substance use disorders. I helped integrate them into the state’s hub-and-spoke model for medication-assisted opioid treatment.

Ultimately, the most important thing to me is that, even with recreational legalization on July 1, we don’t lose sight of the fact that cannabis is a legitimate medicine with the immense capacity to benefit many people.

I recently left Lund to return to my herbal roots. I’m still working part time with the medical center, the University of Vermont and National Institute of Health in maternal child health and opioid research, program development, and I’m on call as a sexual and domestic assault forensic nurse examiner. I’m also a hemp farmer and co-own Horticultural Excellence Medicinal Perfection, H.E.M.P. (vermonthempfarms.com).

I’m a proud member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association and am starting a Vermont division, the Vermont Cannabis Nurses Association. The American Cannabis Nurses Association was founded to advance excellence in cannabis nursing practice through advocacy, collaboration, education, research and policy development. There’s still a general caution and wariness amongst some nurses and medical providers to put themselves out there and advocate for cannabis. However, this is where the medical field is going. Even though we’re just at the beginning, medical cannabis could completely shift treatment paradigms, and I see this as an opportunity to be a voice and a pioneer, and help normalize the use of cannabis as medicine.

Ultimately, the most important thing to me is that, even with recreational legalization on July 1, we don’t lose sight of the fact that cannabis is a legitimate medicine with the immense capacity to benefit many people.

As a cannabis advocate and consultant, my goal is to help clients choose, grow, craft and heal themselves with disease – or desire – specific cannabis strains. I can help to bridge the gap between patients, doctors, specialists, medical dispensaries and hemp/CBD producers. It’s so exciting to me that I finally get to combine all of my skills, passion, knowledge, and decades of herbal and medical experience to support holistic wellness and healing and make a real difference in people’s lives.  

While I’ve never seen myself as political, the truth is I’m an outspoken lady and a strong and passionate advocate for this plant in which I believe so deeply. I feel that if we do this right, Vermont could be a national leader in the cannabis industry and create trusted industry standards.

I want us all to have a common goal and understanding, establish an ethos of trust, legitimacy and respect, and create a welcoming cannabis community within this blossoming industry. From industrial hemp to medical marijuana, we’re here to collaborate for the greater good, so let’s do just that!

If you have questions about VT-CNA or column ideas, please send them to greennursevt@gmail.com, and I’ll be happy to address them in future columns. I look forward to getting to know the Heady fans!

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