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Let’s Talk About the Business of Marijuana and Its Impact on the Minority Community
Marijuana as Medicine
How to get a Florida Medical Marijuana ID Card
Let’s Talk About the Business of Marijuana and Its Impact on the Minority Community
The medical marijuana industry is booming in Florida and many other states, but less than five percent of all cannabis businesses in the U.S. are minority-owned. Register to join the next Conversations on Cannabis virtual forum on Thursday, March 25 at noon to hear from three professionals - Rebecca Colett, Erik Range and Roz McCarthy - who have made inroads in the billion-dollar cannabis business and are working to open the door for others. They will share their stories and answer your questions about the business of marijuana and its impact on communities of color.
Black Physicians Discuss Benefits of Medical Marijuana 
Dr. Genester Wilson-King is a board-certified gynecologist who started recommending medical marijuana treatments to her patients after Florida legalized it in 2016. She’s one of the 2,500+ doctors in Florida qualified to order medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis for patients with qualifying conditions.
She’s also part of a growing number of Black physicians focused on helping people of color consider the therapeutic benefits of cannabis through the Cannabis Health Equity Movement and its recently launched Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine. ACHEM (pronounced Ay-Kem) is focused on educating health professionals and healers in a nationwide effort to raise awareness about cannabis use in the health care treatment of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), and to promote entrepreneurship and employment opportunities in the medical marijuana industry. 

“I always looked for other ways of helping my patients outside of pharmaceuticals, especially the ones people take all the time, and in my research, I found and learned about cannabis,” Dr. Wilson-King said. “Many women's health conditions have multi-factorial components and the capacity of cannabis to act as an anti-inflammatory agent, a muscle relaxant, a mood enhancer, a sleep remedy, and a pain reliever, all at the same time, makes it ideal for women's health conditions.”  
When comparing the use of medical cannabis versus some pharmaceutical medications, Dr. Angela “Kaya” Ledbetter, a board-certified emergency medicine physician in Houston, Texas and ACHEM board member, says it’s important to know that the safety profile of cannabis is better. 

“It is a lot safer. Fortunately, cannabis has fewer side effects than a lot of other medications, which allows us the ability to experiment a little bit and work with a patient to figure out what works best with them,” she said.

ACHEM was co-founded by Board Vice President Dr. Janice Knox, who is a nationally recognized endocannabinologist, speaker and authority on the subject of medical cannabis. 

“We call ourselves endocannabinologists because we really study the physiology of the body [i.e. the endocannabinoid system] first and then the pharmacology of cannabis to emphasize the correct clinical application,” said Dr. Knox, a board-certified anesthesiologist and co-founder of The American Cannabinoid Clinics in Portland, Oregon.
According to the doctors, many minorities are hesitant to accept cannabis as a medical treatment because of its criminal reputation — while some states have legalized it, medical marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Having a qualified physician knowledgeable about the effects of medical marijuana can help remove the stigma of cannabis use and help patients determine if it's the right treatment for them.  

“ACHEM is going to be very important for us to train clinicians and providers who look like us, so we can change some of those old staunch beliefs in our community,” said Dr. Knox. 

To learn more about Medical Marijuana as Medicine, click here to watch MMERI’s Conversations on Cannabis Virtual Forum featuring Dr. Genester Wilson-King, Dr. Janice Knox and Dr. Angela “Kaya” Ledbetter on YouTube. For more information on medical marijuana, visit MMERI’s website at
Cannabis News Roundup
How to Get Medical Marijuana in Florida
Only a qualified physician can recommend medical marijuana in Florida, but a patient still must get a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Card to obtain the drug from an approved treatment center.
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What People Are Saying About Marijuana

During each Conversations on Cannabis virtual forum, we ask audience members to share their views or experiences.

“Not only does the ‘side eye’ come from employers when employees use marijuana to help with pain control and relaxation, but family members also. Kind of like being judged by family and them thinking you're addicted,” A.V. in Lamont, FL.

“I am a young breast cancer survivor and healthcare practitioner (pharmacist) who has noted many fellow survivors really stand by the use and benefit of cannabis during and after treatment. Those who are unfortunately stage 4 even contribute their survival beyond providers expectations to the use of medical marijuana,” K.F. in the United States.

“I've worked with many people in my social services career who believed unlawful use of marijuana was not a big deal, but later realized that it is addictive, illegal, affects your ability to get a job and maintain a routine, and it interfered in their ability to maintain healthy relationships,” D.M. in Tampa, FL.
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