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Southwest Medical Marijuana Physician’s Group

The primary goal of our medical marijuana physicians group is to provide the certification necessary for qualified people to obtain medical marijuana under the State of Arizona medical marijuana laws and to achieve the quality of life desired. During the certification process, your physician will discuss with you the benefits (along with the risks) of choosing medical marijuana as an alternative therapeutic treatment thus allowing you to make a well informed decision. In addition, your physician may recommend other pertinent treatments such as pain management and / or nutritional counseling.Our offices are staffed with experienced and compassionate doctors that are well trained in the areas of alternative health care and our caring and knowledgeable support staff who will assist you throughout the entire process. In addition, your physician will provide you with follow up care for your qualifying condition.
Evaluation Center


Medical Marijuana Evaluations conducted by compassionate and knowledgeable physicians
Specialize in pediatric assessment
State Application Processing Assistance
On-site chronic pain assessment

Our Staff

Dr. Elaine Burns, Medical Director

Dr. Elaine Burns, an Arizona-licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD), has been instrumental in building an ethical, highly professional medical marijuana industry in Arizona since 2011. She is widely recognized as one of Arizona’s leading advocates for those patients who most benefit from Cannabis as a therapeutic medication. Her gentle, compassionate care has helped patients of all ages who suffer from a wide range of legally authorized conditions.

Dr. Burns is passionate about her profession and is committed to helping others achieve wellness and vitality in their lives. Educating both patients and physicians on the safety and efficacy of Cannabis as a therapeutic agent is, she feels, paramount to providing the best care. Thus, she has guided Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation in developing comprehensive cannabinoid education materials for patients to ensure a safe and effective medical treatment option.

Always dedicated to staying at the forefront of the industry on behalf of her patients, she also regularly works at continuing her education by obtaining post-graduate training in all aspects of medical Cannabis. That ongoing training has allowed her to identify challenges within the medical marijuana community. After noting a disparity between what physicians want for their patient and what is actually available to them, she was instrumental in creating DrBurns’ ReLeaf™, a physician-formulated line of cannabis-infused products that assures a consistent quality and bridges the gap she had seen.

Having actively supported the advancement of medical Cannabis since the inception of the industry in Arizona, Dr. Burns is considered to be one of the state’s most highly qualified experts in the field. Other physicians, patients and the news media often turn to her first for advice, education and collaboration. As the author of the upcoming book, Weed Out Opioid Addiction, she is also recognized as a leading authority on the use of medical Cannabis to combat the opioid epidemic that has grown exponentially in recent years.

In 2012, Dr. Burns was the first in the state of Arizona to pass the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine’s (AACM) physician certification test qualifying her as an expert in the clinical applications of cannabis medicine. The AACM provides the GOLD standard for medical cannabis recommendations and approval. She also serves on the Executive Board of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act Political Action Committee (AMMA PAC), a position that gives her a voice for medical marijuana patients at the legislative level.

As the founder and medical director of Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation, Dr. Burns has served the patients of Arizona since 2011. Under her leadership, Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation has earned a reputation as one of the state’s most ethical, respected medical marijuana education and referral clinics. They are widely recognized for their exceptional professionalism.

In addition to her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, Dr. Burns also obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Pre-med from the University of Delaware and, a Master’s degree in Business from the University of Phoenix.

Member Since: 2011

Dr. Lauren Salisbury

Dr. Lauren Salisbury graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, with a B.A. in Political Science, where she was chosen as a McNair Scholar in the McNair Scholar’s program. She went on to earn a Master’s of Science in Non-Profit Management from Our Lady of the Lake University in 2009. Dr. Salisbury also worked at the Houston Department of Health and Human Services where she served as Senior Trainer for the Public Health Preparedness Department, preparing employees for natural and man-made disasters while responding to Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the H1N1 Flu Outbreak in 2009. She is a graduate of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in June, 2016. She also graduated from Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture and holds a Master’s of Acupuncture in December 2019. She has completed three years of general medicine residency, and is currently adjunct faculty at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. Dr. Salisbury also supervises two student clinical rotations in the SCNM Medical Center.

Dr. Salisbury has extensive training in a variety of modalities, but particularly enjoys using Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Nutrition, Homeopathy, Bio Therapeutic Drainage and botanicals in the treatment of chronic disease, women’s health and mental health.

​Dr. Danielle Lewis

Dr. Danielle Lewis is a Naturopathic Doctor whose goal is to constantly reinvent herself so she can lead by example and empower her patients. She is a believer in the fact that we all have the power to heal ourselves if we are equipped with the right knowledge. Dr. Danielle Lewis’ journey to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine started over 15 years ago in the field of Physical Therapy. Dr. Danielle Lewis attained her degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.  She has extensive knowledge about medical marijuana and has been educating and certifying patients for several years.


Office Staff

Nate Piper

I have started in Jan of 2017 and I am responsible for patient check in, Phoenix Patients Applications, and other general office work for the Phoenix Location. I enjoy creating my own beer through homebrewing, playing guitar, hiking and camping. I am originally from New York and moved out to Arizona after spending 4 years in the US Army as a Medic.


I have been with SWMMEC for 5 months (02/20). My day to day duties consist of receiving phone calls from patients, scheduling patient appointments and answering patient text messages via KLARA. I take pride in providing our patients clear direction and guidance during their certification process. Also I prepare the patients charts for their visit!
When I am not at work i enjoy everything that I can with my family… life is too short! Gardening and spending time in my hot/cool tub!
My beautiful petite blond and blue eyed daughter is a semi truck driver ! 

Improving the quality of life for every patient.

Qualifying Conditions

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Severe and chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures, including epilepsy
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis

Don’t just “Get a Card”, Learn How to Get Better !

Southwest Medical Marijuana Physicians Group is a top-rated center and has been making a positive difference in the lives of thousands of patients since 2011.