White Coat Notes

Live chat: Karen van Unen on medical marijuana

Health officials Friday revealed the names and locations of the businessesthat will receive the first 20 licenses to open medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts. But what does this mean for residents, patients, and the medical community? How will communities and neighborhoods be impacted? How will this system work?

Karen van Unen, the recently appointed executive director of the medical marijuana program at the Mass. Department of Public Health
Karen van Unen, the recently appointed executive director of the medical marijuana program at the Mass. Department of Public Health The Boston Globe / Bill Brett

Get your questions answered about this public health policy initiative by the person at the top. Karen van Unen , the recently appointed executive director of the medical marijuana program at the Mass. Department of Public Health will be chatting with readers live on Tuesday, Feb. 4. at 12:30 p.m. Van Unen oversees all aspects of the medical marijuana program, from the inspection of dispensaries to the creation of a patient and caregiver registration database that will be operational later this year.

Advertisement—Continue Reading Below

Van Unen has extensive experience in public health, non-profit management and patient access. She previously served as chief operating officer at DotWell in Dorchester, which coordinates community and public health programs for over 40,000 individuals in the community. Van Unen is a board member and past president of the Massachusetts Public Health Association. She began serving as a consultant to DPH on the implementation of the medical marijuana program following its approval by voters in November, 2012.

Please submit your questions in the field below.

Share