FAMU Announces Orlando Medical Marijuana Community Forum

Attendees at the April MMERI community forum in Tallahassee (Florida A&M University).

      TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) today announced the second community forum as part of the campaign to educate and inform the state’s diverse minority communities about medical marijuana.

Peter Harris, Director of the FAMU Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative.
(Florida A&M University
Cynthia Hughes-Harris, Ph.D., Dean of the FAMU School of Allied Health Sciences, Research Chair, MMERI, and Dean, School of Allied Health Sciences
(Florida A&M University)

The MMERI forums provide community members with an opportunity to engage in a two-way conversation with medical marijuana stakeholders. Community members will be able to ask questions and get answers from the diverse panel made up of:

  • Cynthia Hughes Harris, Ph.D. Research Chair, MMERI, and Dean, School of Allied Health Sciences, Florida A&M University
  • Bruce Antone, Florida House of Representatives
  • Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida House of Representatives
  • Valeria Robinson Baker, RPh, C.Ph.
  • Olympia Compounding Pharmacy
  • Uday Daphtary, M.D.
  • Affordable Care Clinics
  • Mark Canty
  • Undersheriff, Orange County Sheriff’s Office
  • Leo Staney, Pastor, The MaxOut Church

MMERI Director Peter Harris said community feedback is crucial to his team’s efforts.

“It is critical that we hear directly and in-person from Florida’s diverse minority communities so that we clearly understand their needs and concerns around medical marijuana,” Harris said. “We are on an aggressive timeline to make sure that we hear the voices of interested Floridians as we work to inform legislation and develop policies that will surely affect their lives.”

MMERI forum organizer and Public Affairs Liaison Angela Hardiman said the location of the event is vital in order to reach as many affected groups as possible.

“Orlando is an important market for us because the community consists of so many diverse minority groups. Our two-way communication methodology allows for the greatest exchange of information,” she said. “We’ve heard from past forum attendees that are very appreciative of the opportunity to ask questions and get answers, and we are extending this model throughout the state.”

MMERI has several additional panels scheduled this summer. Forums are also being planned in South Florida.

Upcoming MMERI Community Forums:

  • June 27, 2019 – Tampa/St. Petersburg
  • July 9, 2019 – Pensacola
  • July 18, 2019 – Jacksonville

MMERI’s objective is to build a repository of research and other information for medical marijuana education and research scholars, to establish the University as a touchstone center for marijuana information, to fill in the gaps in medical marijuana research particularly as it relates to diverse communities and to in-form policymakers in Florida and beyond. MMERI recently awarded 14 grants totaling $98,000 to more than 20 faculty members to conduct research on marijuana, to enable FAMU’s MMERI to begin that process. The inaugural re-search projects are expected to be completed by June 30, 2020.



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Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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