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Our Board of Directors

Jill Simonian, PharmD - President

Jill Simonian, PharmD is currently serving as affiliate faculty at UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and UC Irvine School of Pharmacy, teaching a course entitled “Cannabis Pharmacology and Therapeutics” to pharmacy and medical students. 

After receiving her PharmD from UC San Francisco and completing residency training at UC San Diego Medical Center, she served at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in La Jolla, CA as a clinical pharmacist in the inpatient and outpatient settings and worked several years per diem at an independent pharmacy in Carlsbad, CA. Due to the widespread interest and demand for cannabis products from her patients, she began focusing her efforts on the evaluation of scientific data regarding the pharmacology and therapeutic use of cannabis in humans

Recognizing the significant gap between pharmacists’ knowledge about cannabis and the growing legalization and use of cannabis in medical and adult-use populations, Dr. Simonian became an advocate for cannabis education for pharmacists and all healthcare professionals. 

Codi Peterson, PharmD, MS - Secretary

Dr. Codi Peterson is a pediatric pharmacist and cannabis science expert. Leveraging a decade of clinical pharmacy experience, Codi strives to bridge the gap between healthcare and cannabis through education and advocacy. He is a PharmD graduate from Duquesne University and later graduated with an MS in Medical Cannabis Science & Therapeutic program at University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Codi is the Chief Science Officer of The Cannigma, a science forward media company who wants to help the world “get” cannabis. Dr. Peterson is also an educator for OCEMT where he teaches pharmacology to paramedics in southern California. Codi is co-founder and secretary of the Pharmacists Cannabis Coalition of California (PCCC), a public-benefit nonprofit dedicated to educating and elevating California pharmacists in the cannabis space. He believes that cannabis is medicine and patients deserve access to medicine, which includes the right to speak with a healthcare professional.

Leah Johnson, PharmD - Treasurer

Dr. Leah Johnson is a formally trained Medical Cannabis Consultant Pharmacist and the owner and founder of Alchemist Consulting. She is also an accomplished, highly driven Clinical Integrative Healthcare Pharmacist, with primary focus in pain, mental health (depression, anxiety, Insomnia, etc.) and sexual health medication management. She currently holds 2 patents (under the name: Leah Haibi) for natural herbal remedy tinctures, which I helped develop as the Head of Research & Development for an herbal supplement company.

Dr. Johnson understands that complete physical & mental health and well-being can be influenced by the utilization of cannabis, as well as other herbal remedies and supplements, in conjunction with pharmaceutical medications. She believes that most patients are given too many and inappropriate prescription medications, while not being given the knowledge for utilizing effective herbals and supplements to reduce pill burden. She also see that many patients are unable to get full relief of their ailments due to the missing components in their medication regimens.

In an effort to improve the overall health and well-being of patients, Dr. Johnson works with patients and their healthcare providers, from all over the country, to reduce the amount of medications taken, alter timing and dosing of medications to improve effectiveness, and identify medications which could be causing issues. She also contracts with cannabis companies to advise them on dosing, safety, interactions, and how to better help their customers see health improvements with the use of their products.

Dr. Johnson holds a Doctorate degree in Pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and will be receiving her Masters degree in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics in 2023.

Kari L. Franson, PharmD, PhD, BCPP - Director

Kari L. Franson, PharmD, PhD, BCPP joined the University of Southern California in 2020 as the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy. Dr. Franson received her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of California, San Francisco, trained at the University of Illinois, Chicago Hospital and Clinics as a resident in adult internal medicine and a fellow in clinical research/drug development, and received her PhD in Medical Education from Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Dr. Franson is an educator with more than 25 years of experience. Throughout her career, she has focused on two areas: health professions education/workforce development and psychopharmacology.

Dr. Franson is a US Board-Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist and Dutch-Certified Clinical Pharmacologist. She worked with geriatric psychiatric patients for 10 years and has performed a variety of clinical studies spanning those in early-phase clinical pharmacology to post-marketing clinical efficacy studies. She is interested in cannabinoid clinical pharmacologic effects and cannabis user safety. She has guided national and international professional, legislative, media and commercial groups on the wise study and use of cannabis.

Paul W. Lofholm, PharmD - Director

Paul W. Lofholm, PharmD graduated from UCSF in 1964.  He practiced in the Bay Area his entire career.

In 1966 he joined the UCSF Faculty teaching pharmacy law and compounding. He is a Professor of Clinical Pharmacy. He has taught many courses in the clinical aspects of pharmacy including Cannabis.

Three years later, he joined he Ross Valley Medical Clinic, where he developed the role of a clinical pharmacist in Medical Group Practice at Ross Valley Pharmacy. He has an interest in psychiatry, pain, geriatrics and ophthalmology.

He is a past president of the American College of Apothecaries and the California Pharmacists Association. Among the awards he’s received: Alumnus of the Year, The Daniel B. Smith Award and the Remington Honor Medal, the highest honor a pharmacist can receive.

He lives in Newcastle, CA with his wife, Rebecca.  They have five children and twelve grandchildren. There are five practicing pharmacists in the family.

Robert  "Bob" Stein, PharmD, Esq

In memory of Bob Stein, a founding member of PCCC, who contributed substantially to the development of this organization. His vast knowledge and experience were instrumental to the team and his genuinely kind and positive personality will be greatly missed. And his puns, too.

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