About The Azalla Education Team
This is not the typical “About” page where we tell you all the boring details about who we are, what we do, and how we can help you thrive in your business. First off – we are many things, but boring is not one of them. We’re cannabis nurses for goodness sake! Never heard of cannabis nurses? No worries! We’re sort of mystical creatures that really exist. We’re that cool!
We are subject matter experts on the Endocannabinoid System and cannabis therapeutics. And we can absolutely help you thrive in your business. However, we just met and you probably want to know a little more about us before you decide that we’re the cannabis education company you’ve been dreaming about. Oh, you haven’t been dreaming about a cannabis education company? Weird. We have this dream all the time!
And you’re still reading! Woot! Thanks!
We are two Advanced Practice Nurses who certify patients for the use of medical cannabis in several states, one Registered Nurse with experience as a dispensary manager and cannabis nurse consultant, and one amazing business manager. Together, we have a combined 17 years of experience in the cannabis industry. We’ve helped thousands of patients and adult users improve their quality of life with the use of this remarkable plant-based medicine.
We’re also cannabis patients who depend on this quality medicine to relieve symptoms and enjoy a little euphoria now and again. Our perspective is informed by our medical knowledge, our individual journeys using the Cannabis sativa plant, our compassion for patients, and our desire to collaborate and create equity and community within the developing cannabis industry.
These professional and personal experiences shape our courses, programs, and learning opportunities, all of which are designed to empower cannabis industry professionals to be proficient in their roles, and to also extend the healing work of the cannabis community.
We value every professional on the cannabis supply chain. We know each person in this industry plays an integral role in improving the health and well-being of our communities. We know you’re badasses!
We are committed to providing the education, training, and support services your cannabis company needs to flourish and thrive in this ever-changing industry. And in case you didn’t figure it out, we give credit to every badass who deserves it.
Meet The Team
Caitlin Bernhard - Director of Operations
Caitlin Bernhard, MSN, FNP, is a Cannabis Nurse Practitioner, Integrative Health Coach, and Cannabis Educator with a background in Family Medicine, Reiki and Bodywork, Hatha Yoga, and Herbalism. She resides in Western Massachusetts.
Caitlin is the owner/founder of Azalla Wellness and Azalla Education and she is the Chairperson of the American Cannabis Nurses Association Conference Planning Committee. Since 2017 Caitlin has worked as a Cannabis Nurse Practitioner throughout Massachusetts, providing education, consultations, and certifications for cannabis patients in MA and NY. She has created and presented material at informational events and workshops throughout New England and spoken at several national conferences.
Caitlin joyfully came to work with cannabis to escape the brutal reality of modern health care: a broken system driven by pharmaceutical and insurance interests, overpriced services, and fear of litigation—a healthcare system that profits from illness and ignorance of preventative health and wellness. One of the many reasons she loves working with cannabis medicine is that the very process of learning to medicate with this plant is empowering. Working with cannabis and other entheogens allows people to take their health into their own hands and opens the doors to connection with plant medicine and optimal wellness.
Julie Battel - Director of Community Outreach
Julie Battel CNM, MPH is a compassionate and seasoned healthcare professional. Since 2017, Julie has been practicing Cannabis Medicine as an Advanced Practice Nurse focusing on the unique background and needs of each patient. She is dedicated to educating patients on the various benefits of plant-based medicine.
Julie has expertise in women’s health and neurological conditions. Her interests and goals include incorporating the endocannabinoid system into nursing and medical education, collecting and analyzing data to optimize patient outcomes. She is passionate about working towards racial and economic justice in the cannabis space.
Julie is a member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association, the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine. She has appeared on a number of cannabis podcasts and has presented at multiple educational events throughout Massachusetts.
After graduating from Brown University, Julie earned a Masters degree in both Public Health and Midwifery from Boston University. She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer for Project Recovery on the Pine Ridge Reservation and was instrumental in the creation of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Julie practiced as a certified Nurse Midwife at Massachusetts General Hospital for 12 years. She is a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and has held various positions at Planned Parenthood over the years. She’s excited about what the future holds for plant medicine.
Marissa Fratoni - Director of Communications
Marissa Fratoni is an experienced holistic nurse and multi-disciplined health practitioner specializing in women’s/maternal health and behavioral health. She is Azalla Education’s mindfulness leader and resident yoga teacher. Since 2016, Marissa has been involved in the cannabis industry in various roles including manager for a medical cannabis dispensary and telehealth nurse in a certifying healthcare provider’s office
Marissa participates in the advancement of cannabis nursing practice through education and advocacy as an active member, committee chair, and current Director of the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA). Marissa is also an experienced writer in the cannabis space, and she is a contributing author for the first cannabis care nursing textbook – Clark’s Cannabis: A Handbook for Nurses, published in 2021. Through her experiences, Marissa has witnessed improved quality of life for many of her patients with guided implementation of cannabis therapy. Marissa firmly believes in the healing power of mindfulness and entheogenic medicine.