Holistic Cannabis Network®

The Holistic Cannabis Network® (HCN) is a cannabis education, training, and business-building platform for holistic-minded practitioners about medical marijuana and its integration with other healing modalities. Here’s a snippet of what HCN can deliver to you!

  • Real world cannabis practitioner advice and guidelines
  • Recommendations about how to communicate with your clients about cannabis
  • Suggestions about how to integrate cannabis education into your existing healing modality
  • Insights into both hemp agriculture and into cannabis grow operations
  • Approved health conditions for medical marijuana state-by-state
  • Product and labeling requirements for cannabis edibles, tinctures, and topicals
  • Up-to-date science about cannabis research
  • How to prepare nutritious cannabis-infused foods
medical marijuana education hand with leaf

We’re on the cusp of a major paradigm shift about how to prevent and treat chronic illness. As holistic-leaning modalities garner respect and reach the masses, medical marijuana gains the same traction as a healing modality.

While the science is advancing along with the ground swell of interest and testimonials from consumers, there remains an educational gap among practitioners. Patients nationwide are asking questions about the appropriate use of cannabis, yet most health + wellness practitioners are at a loss to provide credible answers. The search ends! At the Holistic Cannabis Network,™ we provide current, evidence-based cannabis education via an engaging series of learning options.

For everyone in a healing profession, it’s essential to stay relevant in the ever-evolving wellness landscape. Don’t get left on the sidelines as this exciting transition occurs in our society. Be a practitioner who understands and embraces this healing herb. Come join us on this unprecedented journey!

The integrity of what we provide our customers rests squarely on who we are – holistic-minded health practitioners, first and foremost. While other cannabis education programs are available, most are produced by business people who have little or no hands-on client health experience. We are our target audience – health + wellness professionals committed to holistic healing.

We’re also seasoned educators and communications experts. We know how to dissect studies and translate findings. We know how to develop curricula that’s timely and practical. And, we know how to serve it up in an enjoyable and varied format. Let us do the heavy lifting so you can sit back and enjoy the learning curve.

Purchase the 2016 Holistic Cannabis Summit

Own the Holistic Cannabis Summit

Are you cannabis curious? Here’s your chance to purchase our exclusive summit presentations and learn from top experts, patients, and advocates in the cannabis and functional medicine communities who answer your questions about cannabis –dosing, the endocannabinoid system, edibles, testing, therapeutic use for conditions ranging from autism, anxiety, cancer, insomnia and much more. Online + flash drive access available.

View Summit Details


HCN As Seen On

Participate In Harvard Research Project

We have teamed up with Harvard Medical School on a cannabis research project! This 5-minute, anonymous survey will help researchers, doctors and policy makers understand peoples’ reasons for wanting to use medical marijuana and how best to create cannabis education programs suited for consumers and practitioners alike.

If you’d like to receive a summary of the survey results, you can opt-in after completing the survey. Your answers will always remain anonymous.

cannabis research project at Harvard Medical School - medical marijuana

Speaking Engagements



Holistic Cannabis Network co-founders Laura Lagano + Donna Shields continue to
spread the word and enlighten people across the country. Learn more!

New Jersey Dietetic Association

May 6, 2016

The New Jersey Dietetics Association former spokesperson and HCN’s co-founder Laura Lagano is presenting “Cannabis Comes Out of the Closet: Dietitians, Get Up to Speed on This Healing Herb or Get Left Behind!” at the annual meeting. According to former Jersey girl and HCN co-founder Donna Shields, “This is a landmark decision by a formerly-conservative group!”

Patients Out of Time

                                      April 14-16, 2016

The Patients Out of Time 10th National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics entitled Cannabis: a Botanical Medicine selected HCN’s co-founder Laura Lagano as the first-ever dietitian/nutritionist presenter. Laura’s talk Cannabis: Why Nutrition Matters will provide a timely review of the nutritional benefits of cannabis + hemp, as well as the synergetic power of nutrition with cannabis therapy.!

Cannabis Marketing Association

June 15, 2016  6pm MT

Navigating the marketing landscape in the cannabis industry is a painful process. The CMA is a collaborative group that aims to elevate the effectiveness of marketing for every company in the cannabis industry by exchanging ideas, best practices, and tools. Donna Shields, HCN co-founder, will present  “15,000 Leads: Creating An Automated Sales & Marketing Funnel ” showing how her team has built and cultivated a  sales funnel from their online event that generated 15,000 leads.

Food + Nutrition Conference + Expo

October 1, 2015

For the first time in its history, the Academy of Nutrition + Dietetics (AND) featured a cannabis exhibitor at its annual meeting – the Food + Nutrition Conference + Expo 2015. And, the Holistic Cannabis Network was its inaugural medical marijuana exhibitors. AND members Laura Lagano and Donna Shields were on board at the annual meeting in Nashville, showcasing their cutting-edge start-up.

MDA Annual Nutrition Convention & Expo

April 1, 2016

Mass is First to Showcase Holistic Cannabis Network

Massachusetts is considered one of the most forward-thinking states in the healthcare arena – including medical cannabis. True to form, the Massachusetts Dietetic Association was the first state level nutrition organization to feature HCN co-founder as a presenter as the annual nutrition conference and exposition.

2016 AME at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Tarrytown!

May 19-21, 2016

New York State Nutritionists Are Hungry for Cannabis

Laura + Donna’s nutrition colleagues are interested in learning more about cannabis – big time! The New State Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics was HCN co-founder Laura’s third presentation to state associations in Spring 2016. Just so you know, Laura was thrilled to be back in her birth state!

Holistic Cannabis Programs

We offer various learning formats — from our online Academy to canna-friendly, wellness-focused retreats in beautiful Colorado.

Cannabis Flower - Holistic Cannabis Network - medical marijuana

Holistic Cannabis Summit

The first-ever, online cannabis conference featuring a top-tier roster of clinicians, edible producers, growers, and more. Ideal for practitioners and consumers alike, this FREE event is not to be missed!

Cannabis Academy - Holistic Cannabis Network - medical marijuana

Holistic Cannabis Academy

The only online learning program tailored specifically for holistic health + wellness practitioners. Complete the program for a certification as a Holistic Cannabis Consultant and set yourself apart!

Holistic Cannabis Network co-founders Image - Donna Shields and Laura Lagano - medical marijuana

HCN Live!

The Holistic Cannabis Network hits the road as co-founders, Laura and Donna, tell their HCN story at cannabis conferences and health professional meetings nationwide! Presentations are custom-tailored for your audience.

Holistic Cannabis Network - Culinary Cannabis Tea - medical marijuana


No sugary gluten-laden pot brownies here. Learn how to create healthful dishes infused with cannabis that you and your clients can easily replicate at home. And, look for our healthful brand CannaBotana in Colorado dispensaries soon!

Holistic Cannabis Network - Holistic Cannabis Ambassador - medical marijuana

Holistic Cannabis Ambassador Program

A select group of our Certified Holistic Cannabis Consultants serve as regional ambassadors in the media and at community events. A terrific way to Increase your visibility and promote your practice!

Holistic cannabis network - medical marijuana scenic pic


Come to beautiful Colorado and network with like-minded practitioners for a hands-on canna-friendly retreat. Relax, rejuvenate, and restore while meeting experts pioneering the cannabis industry.

Add Holistic Cannabis Practitioner To Your Credentials!


  • Because your clients deserve a true holistic approach to healthcare, rather than a band-aid approach

  • Because no healthcare professionals — allopathic or holistic — received training in medical marijuana

  • Because medical cannabis is approved in almost half the states in the US

  • Because you consider yourself progressive and want to stay ahead of the curve

  • Because clients are asking questions and you need to be prepared with sound answers

  • Because you can provide more value to clients, enhancing their outcomes and experience

  • Because you can expand your scope of practice, attracting new clients and generating more revenue


  • By offering the expertise of practitioners who have applied therapeutic cannabis in their practices

  • By providing access to industry experts who produce cannabis products such as edibles, tinctures, and topicals

  • By featuring researchers who have studied the impact of cannabis on acute and chronic health issues

  • By providing customizable education materials such as charts, questionnaires, and guidelines for you to add to your toolbox

  • By reviewing case studies of patients who have improved outcomes by adding cannabis to their treatment plans

  • By granting membership to a select group of certified cannabis practitioners upon completion of the program and exam

Do You Know Your Hemp?

Start learning about therapeutic hemp right now! Download our FREE Complete Nutritional E-Book that will show you the different ways you can eat hemp, as well as research based nutritional breakdowns to show how incredible it is for you to consume. As a bonus, you’ll also find some great recipe tips and suggestions for incorporating this superfood into your daily diet!


We Love Our Community, And They Love Us.

One of the unique features of Holistic Cannabis Network is the emphasis on strong community, helping practitioners integrate cannabis education into their practice.

I am a physician, trained in traditional medicine, and practicing in Texas. … I feel that this is the first “breach of the wall” of ignorance and prejudice against marijuana in Texas, and that other actions will follow in the future, allowing the citizens of the state to enjoy their God-given liberty to do with their bodies as they see fit. I have never been satisfied with the standard answers and the status quo that keeps up way below our potential, sick, and tired. I look forward to learning all I can from you so that I might put that knowledge into practice to help others with use of cannabis and its derivatives.
Keith D, MD, Amarillo, TX
Good morning!
I’m so excited about this summit as this is an area I am interested in educating myself further. As an RN whose employment has mainly been based in critical care hospital settings, I look forward to this education over the week. I have taken many classes in nutrition, integrative medicine & functional medicine (with the Institute of Functional Medicine) I am hopeful that at the end of the summit I will be more clear in my direction of helping others with the medicinal uses of cannabis. Thank you so much for presenting this. I’m looking forward!
I’m hopeful that there will be resources for those that would like to practice with medicinal marijuana & where to find the best go to people & places to learn & heal.
Gina L., RN
Ladies, thank you so much for your time. What you are doing is very inspiring! It’s such an honor to be collaborating with wonderful thought leaders like yourselves. Really inspiring.
Thank you for your good work and assistance to everyone. We are most grateful!
John & Sharon B., United Kingdom
Donna’s recipe contribution to “The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook” hit the right blend of nutritional know-how with contemporary flavors. She’s a nutritionist who understands cannabis, therapeutically and in the kitchen.
Robyn Griggs Lawrence, Author, The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook
The importance of plant-based medicine is emerging from the consciousness of humanity. … I am old enough to have seen the emergence of the allopathic paradigm as the be all and end all. Now I am witness to Mother Earth reclaiming the wellbeing of her children. … At 70, the adventure is just beginning.
Joan B., New Hampshire
Hi I am 60 years old. I would want to drink the tea for my multi-level disc degeneration. I have read up quite a lot about this herb. I know it helps for cancer and other diseases. Blessings!
Rose, South Africa
Good on you, girls. Best wishes for every success!
Having been deprived for decades by the US government of the benefits of cannabis I’m interested in following progress of reform. The way our government has abused its power should be criminalized, not cannabis.
Bob H.
I am very excited about your summit. My whole life I have been thinking about cannabis and its healing properties but I could not find any answers or even information about that. Now I can and will learn everything you and the wonderful teachers are offering us. Thank you, thank you and again thank you!
Hermine W.
I appreciate your getting information out to the public and I hope your summit will discuss the need for cannabis medication to be treated as REAL medicine, with dose measurements, just like all other medications. … If we want cannabis to be taken seriously and used as medication it must be treated as real medication. Thank you!
Rebecca C., Olympia, WA
I decided to subscribe to Holistic Cannabis Network because I am a neurologist, with postgraduate studies in epilepsy in Chile and Australia, and currently I am working in Fundacion Daya (www.fundaciondaya.org). I work with adult patients and I am starting my clinical experience in refractory epilepsy but I am very interested in the clinical use of cannabis extracts in all the different neurological conditions including autism, migraine, neuropathic pain, insomnia, cerebral palsy, restless leg syndrome, etc. Thank you very much for your support and it is a big honour for me to be a part of your great network.
Gisela K., MD, Santiago, Chile
I am interested in natural and alternative remedies and cures to illness, disease, cancer, and all other maladies as a result of being completely disgusted with the corrupt medical industry (backed by Big Pharma) which you probably already know only promotes toxic drugs and barbaric treatments to patients. I am adamant on avoiding this corrupt system, which is unfortunately supported and condoned by other corrupted systems: education, political, and food. Essentially, this is about freedom. I am not a smoker or user of cannabis, but I want access to plants and their byproducts that can heal. A bunch of corrupt individuals made cannabis illegal and demonized it and now I can’t have access to this healing plant. This weed is a gift of nature and the universe, and the more I read and learn about it, the more angry I get that this cure was stolen from the people by our corrupt government and the special interests that run/own it. How free are we when we can’t access a plant, a weed? This is fascism, not freedom. … I’m grateful for you two starting the HCN – and looking forward to learning more at your summit.
Natalie M.
I wanted to take a moment to let you know that I love that you’re doing this. This topic fascinates me for so many reasons. I’m training to be a health coach. … My mother, who I always knew as anti-pot, got a prescription to help her with full body arthritis that had plagued her for months. Ever since she got her prescription I’ve been doing research and learning about different types of pot, CBD vs. THC and which works on which ailments. It doesn’t intrigue me as a recreational use as much as it does as a wellness nerd. The sociological perspective is also fascinating. Years ago I decided that recreational pot smoking was more socially acceptable than cigarette smoking. So, first my mother, then the influx of dispensaries, which made me think that I need to apply this to my health coaching practice, and then I learned about the summit. Maybe I will be THE health coach with the cannabis expertise. I have the idea to offer my health coaching services to dispensaries, demonstrating that marijuana can be part of a holistic healing protocol. I won’t be allowed to prescribe, but I’m not allowed to prescribe any type of meds. I’ve been promoting the summit since I learned about it yesterday. My mom registered. Fellow students and alumni of my health coaching program have shown interest and registered. I’m going to let my neighbours know about it. I’m likely going to buy the Summit even though I’ve put a moratorium on US spending until the exchange rate improves. This one feels like the most useful for my practice.
Andrea T., Toronto, Canada
Thank you so much for this information guys have a great and awesome enjoyable weekend!
Gary S.
I joined the summit because I know that cannabis has healing benefits and I wanted to learn more. I’m so glad that the tides are changing.
Looking forward to the summit.
Amy W.
There are so many disorders, diseases etc., that could be helped or cured with cannabis and I do want to keep up with all that’s available and will be. Thanks for your time and what you’re doing.
Leslie L., North Carolina
I joined because I`m studying naturopathy and want to be well informed about all alternative treatments. Thank you for creating this network!
Feride B.
Within the past year I’ve become very interested in medical marijuana as I’ve had friends with cancer. Our outdated marijuana laws in this nation are starting to change but much more needs to be done.
Thank you for your work!
Stan R., Urbandale, IA
I’m just getting started out learning about the particular industry of medical marijuana. I can’t wait to learn more about it through your resources.
Caley VC
Congrats on all of your hard work. I am looking forward to your organized event! My experience in CA has been most challenging in finding standardization in CBD tinctures for example. Seems the lack of regulation has provided for products on the market that hold varying amounts of THC even while stating CBD only. A few years ago I was searching for CBD tinctures for my special needs son. I was excited by the benefits in seizure reduction as well as neuronal regeneration. … Looking forward to your informative session.
Suzanne P., California
Thank you for including me. I subscribed to The Holistic Cannabis Network because my father was recently diagnosed with extensive small cell lung cancer that has metastasized to his liver and bone marrow. We have decided to pursue the option of cannabis oil to hopefully help cure his cancer. We live in a state where medical marijuana is illegal and we are having to “go underground” if you will. I’m also a registered nurse who is very interested in expanding/furthering my career to include the use of medical marijuana. I am also an advocate for the legalization of medical marijuana in all states so it can be used by anyone that has a condition that has been proven to be helped by the use of cannabis.
Leah J., Registered Nurse
This is particularly relevant for me right now as my husband is battling leukemia and we are looking for all the integrative techniques that we can find to help him. Look forward to attending!
Tracey V. Physical Therapist, New York, NY
I have been researching med cannabis and I am convinced that it is the only way to help my wife with breast cancer. We are very alternative people and live in the middle of 200,000 acre national park. After seeing our daughter pass away from breast cancer and the barbaric treatment that so call modern medicine used we would never go down that road.
Terry P., Australia
I joined the cannabis network because I believe in the health benefits cannabis has to offer as well as it’s other benefits. Also how it can be a sustainable resource for many uses. I would like to learn more about cannabis medical uses that I can educate my clients with. Thank you very much for the resource!
Taft D., RD, Asheville, NC
I participated in your summit earlier this year. Awesome summit!! I can’t say enough about how wonderful the speakers were. That was a great introduction to your work. I also have your cookbook. I thought the book was great. I am so busy running my companies I feel I have neglected all the potential useful knowledge I am still learning. I read, The Disease Delusion [by Holistic Cannabis Summit luminary Dr. Jeffrey Bland].
Robert M.

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