Acclaimed ‘Concussion’ Doctor Bennet I. Omalu to Keynote at Largest NFL & Medical Marijuana Conference on Super Bowl LII Weekend

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American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association to Host Two-Day Conference to Tackle Misconceptions, Benefits, and the Future of Medicinal Cannabis in NFL Athletes

The American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association (AMMPA), the largest physician-based organization representing the medical cannabis industry, will host the largest NFL and Medical Cannabis Conference on February 2-3, 2018, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center in Miami, Fla. The two-day conference will be the first of its kind to merge the topics of medical treatment specifically for active and retired NFL players and the use of medical marijuana as an alternative to treatment with opioids. Dr. Bennet I. Omalu, the physician who first identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and whose story was portrayed in the movie “Concussion,” will be the featured keynote speaker.

“This groundbreaking conference that merges the world of traditional western medicine and alternative medical marijuana treatments, will provide an opportunity for like-minded physicians from around the world to engage in educational topics that could begin to change the way medicine is practiced,” said Dr. Jason Pirozzolo, co-founder of AMMPA. “We look forward to bringing together our many distinguished speakers and industry leaders from around the world, including Dr. Omalu, to educate and begin to destigmatize the use of medical marijuana as a potential treatment alternative.”

Topics of discussion at the conference will include concussions and CTE in the NFL, cannabis use for chronic pain in former NFL athletes, cannabinoids and neurodegenerative diseases, and the future of medical cannabis research, among others.

As fans and players around the world gear up to watch Super Bowl LII on February 4, thought leaders and retired NFL players will come together at the conference to discuss health issues plaguing the league and how medical marijuana could serve as a safer alternative treatment. According to a recent study, retired NFL players use opioids at four times the rate of the general population. This issue was elevated even further in 2017 when Florida Governor Rick Scott declared  the opioid epidemic to be a statewide emergency, followed by President Trump’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a nationwide public health emergency in October.

Discussions will be led by a faculty of renowned thought leaders including Dr. Laszlo Mechtler of Dent Neurologic Institute in New York, and Dr. Jerzy Szaflarski, both among the world’s foremost researchers on medical cannabis and neurodegenerative disorders, as well as keynote speaker Dr. Omalu. From 2002, when Dr. Omalu first published his CTE findings in the journal Neurosurgery, the NFL refused to publicly acknowledge the connection between CTE and concussions sustained in football. In 2015, his story was told in the award-winning biographical sports drama film “Concussion,” in which he was played by actor Will Smith. The film brought widespread attention to CTE and brain injury in football and other contact sports.

In addition, the lineup of panel speakers includes former NFL players, who will share their stories about their health and relationship with medicinal cannabis. Industry-leading brands, such as Surterra Wellness – the presenting sponsor, will also be present to showcase new products and insights.

Online registration is open here to physician members for $395, physician non-members for $570, and the general public for $195. The Florida Medical Association designates this live activity for approximately 10.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

For more information about AMMPA or The NFL and Medical Cannabis Conference, please visit

About the American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association
The American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association (AMMPA) is the largest physician-based organization representing the medical cannabis industry, with around 800 physician members. Based in Florida, the membership-driven association focuses on providing members with the resources they need to safely and effectively utilize medical marijuana recommendations as an alternative treatment modality for their patients. AMMPA serves as a physician advocate, helping to outline practice risks and benefits, education requirements, and compliance issues, and aggregates its members to provide a unified voice representing all physicians currently interested in cannabinoid medicine. For more information, visit

About The NFL and Medical Cannabis Conference
The NFL and Medical Cannabis Conference is designed to help physicians expand and update existing knowledge and skills regarding ever-increasingly sophisticated diagnostic and practice guidelines, to share new ideas for evaluation and treatment techniques, and to increase practitioners’ knowledge and ability to act and advocate for patients within the current medical legislative and regulatory environment.


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