We have a wonderful and passionate team leading Patients For Safe Access. Learn more about them & their story below.
Kenny Tynan, a medical cannabis patient, advocate and activist. Kenny was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015 and turned to cannabis as an alternative treatment. Kenny was forced to leave Ireland for Spain when he couldn’t access a safe reliable source, and the government barriers that were in place in Ireland, didn’t allow it. After three months of gaining a prescription in Spain for Cannabis oils, Kenny noticed not only did he feel healthy, the debilitating seizures that were taking place due to the tumor - suddenly stopped. He was also able to reduce and eliminate other prescriptions.
On his return to Ireland, Kenny was importing medical cannabis through a friend in Spain, until a package was stopped by customs containing 5 bottles of medicinal cannabis. Kenny contacted customs to inform them he wanted it back, and a protest in Athlone, with over 500 in attendance, called for Kenny to be given access to safe medical cannabis. A petition with over 6000 signatures to the then Taoiseach was done online requesting that Kenny get a Ministerial Licence to access his medicine legally.
Kenny then spoke at “Yes to Medical Cannabis” meetings all over the country, to inform people of his battle, and the benefits he has seen through the use of medical cannabis and how it affected his condition..
After many months of emails and consultations, Kenny finally convinced a consultant to apply for a ministerial licence by bringing an unlicensed, untested cannabis product to the consultation that he had been using to continue the treatment prescribed by Doctors in Spain. The consultant made the decision that it was safer to apply for a licence than to let Kenny continue treating himself with an unlicensed product that they couldn’t be sure of the quality or the safety.
Kenny is still fighting for reimbursement, as he doesn’t qualify under the conditions set out by the department of health, even though he is a medical card holder, and a long term illness card holder, which allows for reimbursement of his other medications.
Kenny is now studying to become a Medicinal Cannabis Consultant after completing a course on Medicinal Cannabis with Israel Institute of Technology.
Martin O’Brien is the President and founder of a multi-jurisdictional vertically integrated family of cannabis businesses involved in cultivation, distribution, and retail. He established Patients Care Collective (PCC) in Berkeley in 2001, making it the oldest continuously operating cannabis retailer in the United States. In 2016, he and his team bought an 82-acre estate in Sonoma County and established Foxworthy Farms. That farm now supplies cannabis to some of the biggest and most prestigious retailers in the industry. Mr. O’Brien established California Cannabis Distribution Company (CCDC), the first stand-alone distribution company in Berkley, in 2017 to act as a reliable and affordable cultivation-to-consumer conduit.
Mr. O’Brien has established a reputation for quality cannabis goods and business integrity in his eighteen years in the industry. His family of businesses are dedicated to providing quality cannabis goods in premium and affordable price classes to medical and adult-use consumers. The family of businesses operates on a consumer-focused model. The needs, desires, and values of the consumer drive breeding, cultivation, and retail operations. Mr. O’Brien has been active in the grassroots campaign for safe access to cannabis in California, providing substantial support to Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and participating in local and statewide implementation efforts. Mr. O’Brien is also a documentary filmmaker, event production specialist, and life-long advocate for social justice issues.
Martin Condon BSc Hons in Herbal Science with a special focus on cannabis. Father to two daughters and also a long time Cannabis activist after being caught with cannabis (hash) for the first time at 17 he began to learn about cannabis and its prohibition leading him down a long road of cannabis activist. Martin felt cannabis benefited him in his life and only ever had a problem when the authorities would stop and search him. Martin a is strong believer in the need for peaceful civil disobedience as the political will is not there currently to see cannabis legalised despite the majority of the public supporting it.
The first part of the activists journey was with Legalise Cannabis Ireland (LCI) where at the age of 19 with a group of 5 other activists we organised a number of marches and protests in Cork city.
Not long after this he began his time at Cork IT he set up the Students for Sensible Drug Policy society and began a campaign for more focus on harm reduction when it comes to drug use in the lives of the students and young people. Now pursuing an MSc in BioAnalytical chemistry in University College Cork Martin hopes to do all he can to help improve access to and understanding of cannabis.
Martin is also the host of a podcast called Martins World that aims to highlight the benefits of cannabis legalisation and the harms of cannabis prohibition. The show launched in June and has had over 50 episodes released so far in the form of interviews and also the 420News. The 420News is a news show from Martins World that covers Cannabis related news from around the World.
Alicia Maher is currently undertaking a PhD in law in the regulation of cannabis for medical purposes in Ireland. In September 2019, Alicia held a medical cannabis symposium at the University of Limerick to highlight the issues faced due to the lack of access to medicinal cannabis in Ireland. The speakers included medical practitioners, parents, policy makers and advocates for greater access.
Alicia has also suffered from chronic pain since 2006 after complications from surgery. By 2018, she was taking 30 opioids a day and the side effects were debilitating. As a last resort she decided to try cannabis in 2018 and it worked immediately. She has since come off all pain medication and uses cannabis exclusively to manage her pain.
Alicia moved to Spain in November 2019 to access cannabis because at the time she was waiting for an appointment to meet a new pain consultant and was accessing cannabis through the illicit market. Her GP and consultant applied for the ministerial license to use cannabis and this was approved in May 2019. However, she remains in Spain as the cannabis products available to her in Ireland are unsuitable and the cost prohibitive.
Alicia continues to campaign for the commencement of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme, for the programme to be broadened to include other conditions where there is evidence to suggest cannabis is beneficial, and for the cost to be reimbursed under the relevant schemes in Ireland.
Don Duncan is a founder and member of the Board of Directors of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the leading medical cannabis patient advocacy organization in the United States. He serves on the peer-review and risk managements committees for ASA’s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program, which seeks to calibrate the national cannabis marketplace for excellence. His work at ASA helped to secure important rights for medical cannabis patients and to bring the voice of patients into the national conversation about medical cannabis.
Don was an early champion of local regulations and licensing for cannabis business, and later worked with a coalition of advocates to promote and adopt the first state medical cannabis licensing bill in 2015. His legislative work included building coalitions with labor, law enforcement, local government, and cannabis stakeholders to break a deadlock on state legislation that persisted for more than a decade. He continues to work with lawmakers and leadership at state licensing agencies on legislation and administrative regulation for the marketplace. Don is an expert at local and state cannabis licensing and compliance, having secured more than thirty licenses for cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, retail, and Microbusinesses in California.
Don is the Director of Government Affairs and Chief Operating Officer for a vertically integrated multi-jurisdictional family of cannabis businesses in California. He is a twenty-year veteran of the cannabis marketplace, with extensive experience in business operations, community organizing, lobbying, and regulation at the local and state level. He founded and co-founded cannabis and medical cannabis retail stores in jurisdictions all over the State of California. He has helped dozens of cannabis businesses as a cannabis consult specializing in operations, licensing, and compliance.