Dr. David Nathan
David L. Nathan, MD, DFAPA is a Princeton, New Jersey-based psychiatrist, writer, speaker, educator, and consultant. He is best known as the founder and past president of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, the first national physicians’ association dedicated to the legalization and effective regulation of cannabis in the United States. He is a founding steering committee member of New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform and served as one of several leaders of the successful NJ CAN 2020 campaign to pass New Jersey’s cannabis legalization ballot initiative. Dr. Nathan was
recently named by NJ.com as one of “21 People and Places to watch in the NJ Cannabis Space in 2021.”
In 2019, Dr. Nathan was one of two physicians to testify at the first-ever US House Judiciary Committee hearing on cannabis legalization. He was also the first physician in New Jersey history to testify in favor of cannabis legalization before the state legislature in 2015, and he has since
testified 18 times in eight US states.
Dr. Nathan is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Originally from Philadelphia, he graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and completed his psychiatry residency at McLean Hospital of Harvard Medical School.
While a medical student at Penn Med, Dr. Nathan created, designed, illustrated, and supervised completion of medical education software packages for anatomy, histology, and embryology. These early GUI programs were used in medical schools around the world.
He serves as Director of Continuing Medical Education for Penn Medicine Princeton Health and Director of Professional Education at Princeton House Behavioral Health. On the topic of cannabis policy, Dr. Nathan does not necessarily represent the views of these organizations.
Dr. Nathan is a community fellow at Mathey College of Princeton University. In 2019, he helped Princeton University students create the Princeton chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. In 2020, he was appointed to the Editorial Boards of the American Journal of Endocannabinoid Medicine and Cannabis Science and Technology.
He has spoken and written extensively on cannabis policy, with audiences including lawmakers, businesspeople, state medical societies, hospital medical staff, allied health professionals, and the lay public. Among his dozens of published articles, he co-authored a landmark opinion piece on cannabis regulation with former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders for the American Journal of Public Health. In April 2021, Dr. Nathan coauthored an article with Dr. Elders and H. Westley Clark, MD, JD, MPH (retired director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment [CSAT] of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA]). This piece, which ran in CNN.com’s Opinion section, called out the American Medical Association (AMA) for the structural racism and hypocrisy inherent in the AMA’s longtime support of cannabis prohibition.
Dr. Nathan has appeared in nationally syndicated broadcast, online and print media publications, with more prominent outlets including CNN, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, US News & World Report, VICE News, San Francisco Chronicle, Politico, The Week (UK), and SinoVision News. He has also appeared in many state/province and local media outlets around the United States and Canada.
He serves as a cannabis consultant for government and industry. He has assisted cannabis companies with license applications in three states and has served as the Chief Medical Advisor for a multistate medical cannabis company.
Dr. Nathan’s most recent passion is the development of evidence-based labeling and packaging standards for the regulated cannabis industry. In 2020 he introduced the Universal Cannabis Information Label and the Universal Cannabis Product Symbol in Cannabis Science and Technology.
He serves on the cannabis standards committee (D37) of ASTM International, and he has participated in standardized labeling conversations with cannabis regulators in numerous states. Dr. Nathan’s International Intoxicating Cannabis Product Symbol (IICPS) has been adopted for use by the state of Montana, and other states are expected to follow. ASTM is currently voting to make the IICPS the first and only international consensus standard cannabis product symbol in the world.
In his spare time, Dr. Nathan has published scholarly articles on a variety of historical topics, including early written language, animation, numismatics, and the dawn of American football. In 2003, Dr. Nathan initiated a restoration of the 1914 animated film, Gertie. Along with animation historian Donald Crafton, he published a 2012 article about Gertie in the journal Animation. Dr. Nathan then served as executive producer for the restoration and reconstruction of the animator’s original 1914 stage act, which premiered live during the closing ceremony of the 2018 Annecy Film Festival in France.