Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee Members
Per 25-1.5-110 C.R.S., the department has appointed the following health care professionals as members of the Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee (RMPHAC). The RMPHAC established and follows a systematic review process to review the latest scientific literature on the health effects of marijuana use. They also review Colorado-specific marijuana-related data on health outcomes and use patterns. The statements, research gaps and recommendations presented on this report website are the products of the RMPHAC and CDPHE.
- Review each member’s Conflict of Interest statement.
- More information about the RMPHAC, including upcoming meetings.
Shireen Banerji, PharmD, DABAT
Dr. Banerji is the director of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety (RMPDS). RMPDS, a division of Denver Health, serves as the poison center for four states. She holds faculty appointments in four schools of pharmacy, including University of Colorado School of Pharmacy. She is responsible for managing the clinical operations of RMPDS, which includes training, teaching, research, quality control, and continuing education for the poison center hotline staff. She has select administrative roles and also serves as clinical toxicologist and resource to staff. She works in conjunction with EPA, CDC and local and state health departments when toxicological emergencies with a potential threat to public health arise, to provide clinical management and real-time and historical surveillance. Areas of interest include pediatric toxicology, medication safety, and poison prevention.
Russell Bowler, MD, PhD
Dr. Bowler is Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver and the University of Colorado in Aurora. He has multiple NIH and foundation grants to study the effects of tobacco and marijuana on lung health. His work places a strong emphasis on generation and integration of genetics, genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics data. Complementary animal and laboratory exposure models are used to demonstrate proof of concept using discoveries from human Omics work. He runs one of the country’s largest clinical databases and biobanks of smokers, with more than 3000 well-characterized subjects.
A. Elyse Contreras, MPH
Elyse Contreras is an epidemiologist and manager of the Marijuana Health Monitoring Program and Marijuana Research Grants Program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Elyse has been involved with the Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee since its inception in 2014 and has worked continuously to distribute the committee’s findings, evidence statements and
recommendations throughout Colorado and nationally. Elyse has a decade of experience working in public health and holds a Master’s in Public Health degree from the University of Colorado.
Christopher Domen, PhD
Dr. Domen is a diplomate of the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABCN) and staff neuropsychologist at the University of Colorado Hospital Neuropsychology Clinic, as well as an Assistant Professor in the University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Neurosurgery. He earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Windsor and subsequently completed a Neuropsychology Internship at the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System and Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. His research interests include the effects of cannabis legalization on use by individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological disorders, as well as the impact of cannabis use on cognition among neurological patient populations.
Laurie Halmo, MD
Dr. Laurie Halmo is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and a Medical Toxicologist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She also clinically sees pediatric patients at Children's Hospital Colorado in two roles: as a pediatric hospitalist and a medical toxicologist. Additionally, she is a volunteer faculty member of RMPDS. In both her positions at Children's and RMPDS, she teaches fellows, medical and pharmacy residents, and medical and pharmacy students. Dr. Halmo has a special interest in toxicologic exposures during pregnancy and maternal-infant dyads affected by substance use.
Heather Krug, MS
Heather Krug is the Regulatory Programs Branch Chief for the State Public Health Laboratory of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The branch has five programs, including the Cannabis Sciences Program, which is comprised of three sections: the Cannabis Laboratory Certification Section that performs audits of retail/medical marijuana testing facilities and hemp testing labs for compliance and suitability for certification under state regulations; the state Cannabis Reference Laboratory which develops methods and tests cannabis products for compliance and public health investigations; and the Marijuana Health Monitoring and Research Section which monitors marijuana use patterns and health impacts across the state.This section evaluates and summarizes existing and emerging scientific evidence about potential health effects of marijuana use and administers two research grant programs. Using the data and information generated by the Cannabis Sciences Program, Heather advises state cannabis policy and regulatory decisions. In this capacity, Heather has led and served on a number of committees and working groups addressing pesticide testing, proficiency testing, sampling, and rulemaking within the cannabis industry. Heather holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences and a Master of Science degree in Forensic Toxicology. Her background includes experience in conducting forensic toxicology chemical analyses and providing expert witness testimony in criminal court.
David J Kroll, PhD
Dr. David Kroll is Professor of Natural Products Pharmacology at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. Dr. Kroll is co-director of Cannabis Science & Medicine education programs at the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy, including the Medical Cannabis Education for Health Care Providers program for physicians, advanced practice nurses, pharmacists, public health specialists, and other allied health professionals. Dr. Kroll is also director of the Cannabis Science & Medicine Graduate Certificate Program and Cannabis Science & Medicine specialty track of the Master of Science program in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy. Named a CU President’s Teaching Scholar in 2000 for his scientific and public education work in herbal and non-botanical dietary supplements prior to a related career move to North Carolina for 18 years, Dr. Kroll returned to the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy in 2019. Motivated by his decade of work in public science communication and professional medical writing that specialized in drugs from plants, Dr. Kroll views education on cannabis public health issues a logical extension of his lifelong fascination with biologically-active chemicals from nature.
Sharon Langendoerfer, MD
Dr. Langendoerfer is a retired pediatrician and neonatologist from Denver Health Medical Center. For many years, she has cared for high-risk infants and children, including those exposed before birth to alcohol and other drugs
Andrew Monte, MD, PhD
Dr. Monte is an emergency medicine physician and medical toxicologist at the University of Colorado and Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety. Dr. Monte is an active researcher studying human exposures to a variety of poisons, toxins, and drugs. He has expertise in human genomics, metabolomics, and assay development. He coordinates research on the public health implications of substance abuse in large hospital databases.
Kenneth Novoa, MD
Dr. Novoa is the Medical Director of the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Service at Denver Health Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Novoa received his Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience and Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University and his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his adult psychiatry residency at Zucker Hillside Hospital in New York City and his consultation-liaison psychiatry fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is board-certified in adult psychiatry, consultation-liaison psychiatry, and addiction medicine.
Allison Rosenthal, MPH
A statistical analyst at the Colorado Department of Public Safety, specializing in marijuana and traffic safety surveillance. In her prior position, Allison worked at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as an epidemiologist and evaluator for the Opioid Overdose Prevention Program. Allison received her MPH from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health in Community Health Sciences and was a CSTE/SAMHSA Applied Epidemiology Fellow.
Judith Shlay, MD, MSPH
Dr. Shlay is the associate director of the Public Health Institute at Denver Health (formerly Denver Public Health) and a Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She has been working on various programs in public health for over 30 years. Dr. Shlay has been the principal investigator for a number of projects focusing on health promotion and disease prevention, HIV-related metabolic and neurologic disorders, immunization delivery, reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, teen pregnancy prevention, and tobacco prevention. She is the medical director for the Denver Health Center for Addiction Medicine. In addition to her public health work, Dr. Shlay is a primary care provider through Denver Health’s Ambulatory Care Services Department.
Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Stuyt, MD
Dr. Stuyt is a board-certified Addiction Psychiatrist and has worked in the addiction/behavioral health field since 1990. She was the Medical Director for the Circle Program, a 90-day inpatient treatment program, funded by the state of Colorado, for persons with co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse who have failed other levels of treatment from 1999 - 2020. She was instrumental in
helping the Circle Program to become tobacco free in January 2000 and has been a strong advocate of the need to address all addictions at the same time, including tobacco, to improve outcomes. She retired from clinical practice in 2021 and continues to do consulting, education and trainings for treatment programs and the public regarding problems with high THC marijuana as well as complementary
treatments to aid in healing trauma.
Former Advisory Committee Members & Contributors
CDPHE and the current RMPHAC recognize and thank the following individuals for their past contributions to this committee’s work.
- Ibukunoluwa Adedoyin
- Bernadette Albanese, MD, MPH
- Lisa Barker, MPH
- Laura Borgelt, PharmD
- Alvin C. Bronstein, MD
- Ashley Brooks-Russell, PhD, MPH
- Todd Carlson, MD
- Rowena Crow, MD
- Teresa Foo, MD, MPH
- Ken Gershman, MD, MPH
- Tista Ghosh, MD, MPH
- DeLayna Goulding, MPH
- Katelyn E. Hall, MPH, PhD
- Heath Harmon, MPH
- Rebecca Helfand, PhD
- Renee M. Johnson, PhD, MPH
- Bruce Mendelson, MPA
- Madeline Morris, MPH
- Kristina T. Phillips, PhD
- Allison Rosenthal, MPH
- Kim Siegel, MD, MPH
- Scott Simpson, MD, MPH
- Christian Thurstone, MD
- Mike Van Dyke, PhD, CIH
- Daniel I. Vigil, MD, MPH
- George Sam Wang, MD