FAMU’s Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative Announces Pensacola Community Forum

Florida A&M University (FAMU) and the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) will host the third community forum as part of its mission to educate and inform the state’s diverse communities about medical marijuana. 

The forum will be held on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the auditorium at the Brownsville Community Resource Center, 3200 West DeSoto Street, Pensacola, Florida.  

The MMERI was launched in response to the Florida Legislature’s funding allocation to educate “minorities about marijuana for medical use and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana on minority communities.”  As part of the 2017 legislation, FAMU receives $10 for every $75 identification card purchased by individuals approved to buy medical marijuana.    

The forum is designed to give residents an opportunity to engage in a two-way conversation with community medical marijuana experts.  Attendees will be able to ask questions and get answers from the diverse panel composed of: 

Michelle Beasley, M.D. 

Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinics of Florida 

David Brannon, M.D. 

Cantonment Family Medicine 

Thuy Do, PharmD 

CVS Pharmacy  

Tommi Lyter 

Chief, Pensacola Police Department 

Chip Simmons 

Chief Deputy, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office 

Lonnie Wesley III, Ph.D. 

Pastor, Greater Little Rock Baptist Church 

MMERI Director Peter Harris said the forums have been productive. 

“This is our third forum and we are gaining important insight into the issues and concerns of Florida’s diverse communities, regarding medical marijuana and the impact of illegal marijuana on their lives,” Harris said. “Our work is in informing legislation and policy, which in turn informs the work of the decision makers and other actors in this industry.” 

MMERI forum organizer and Public Affairs Liaison Angela Hardiman adds, “We’ve found that participants really appreciate our two-way communication methodology because it allows for the greatest exchange of information. Most people have a lot of questions about medical marijuana and we are here to get those questions answered.” 

MMERI’s objective is to build a repository of information for medical marijuana education and research and establish the University as a touchstone center for marijuana information, fill in the gaps in medical marijuana research particularly as it relates to diverse communities and to inform public policy, in Florida and beyond, about the impact and issues presented by the developing marijuana industry. The research projects are expected to be completed by June 30, 2020.  

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