When faced with the perplexity of these perilous times in which we now live, steadfast hope must remain our best resolve to give reasonable reassurance that there is a time for everything. We must not fail in our responsibility to give our best effort in providing substantial, helpful information regarding marijuana for medical use and the impact of unlawful use on health among minorities and Floridians.

Specifically, the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) understands that this is a time filled with uncertainty but remain optimistic as we see our audience and stakeholders leverage our platform to educate, communicate, inform and innovate. And, as always, we are here to provide you information about marijuana for medical use, and the unlawful use of marijuana.

We have three (3) Goals:

  1. Educate Florida’s diverse minority communities about marijuana for medical use, and the consequences of unlawful use of marijuana;
  2. Increase the body of evidence-based studies that promote and advance knowledge and pedagogy about marijuana for medical use and the consequences of unlawful use of marijuana; and
  3. Conduct ongoing assessment and evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of the MMERI project

With these engaging goals in mind, you will find us on radio, television, social media, print media, and online course delivery. We are committed to you and to improving your life, and your family’s, and your communities.

Please stay safe and healthy!

With high good wishes,

Patricia Green-Powell, Ph.D.
Interim Executive Director, MMERI
FAMU Alumn Takes the World By Storm as a Leader in Cannabis Tech
Former Rattler and CannaTech Pioneer is Giving Back
Joshua Green, a native of Redlands, California, has always been a go-getter. He grew up heavily involved in activities such as mathematics, music, dance, and business. As a student at FAMU, he was committed to marching band and was awarded the noble opportunity of studying abroad in Vienna, Austria. Green majored in International Agriculture and Business in the FAMU College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture.

After graduating in 2012, he explored a series of professions before proudly launching a startup in the cannabis industry with his business partner Sam Adetunji. Veriheal is an innovative technological platform that connects patients with licensed cannabis doctors. The company came to be when Josh and Sam both needed access to medical cannabis to treat their individual ailments but quickly discovered the difficulties in doing so. They soon realized that there were a lot of people in worse health who were facing the same situation. So, they went on to build a servicing network that would not only inform patients, but also connect them with compassionate doctors that can approve them for their medical marijuana cards quickly and discreetly. That being said, the Veriheal journey hasn’t been without its roadblocks. Certain hurdles such as the stigma surrounding cannabis, being a young minority, and the lack of banking opportunities all provided some initial interference. But Josh and Sam were able to persevere. Green states that, “We became determined more than ever to help people rather than care about obstacles. We’ve grown our company rapidly over the years and have helped serve tens of thousands of patients!”
Veriheal's Innovation in
Cannabis Scholarship
We are officially offering up to 10 $1,000 scholarships to students that prove efficacy towards cannabis studies, research, business, economics, and innovation as a whole.

About the Scholarship

At Veriheal, we value education deeply and want to help students in need. We recognize that any higher education can be a very significant expense. In addition to ever-rising tuition, students may be responsible to pay for housing and other school-related expenses. Attending university can effectively cost students hundreds of thousands of dollars. Veriheal is proud to offer some financial help to students and their families in the form of $1,000 scholarships to individuals who are currently attending university in the United States.
during COVID-19
Cannabis as a Potential Treatment for COVID
The Honorable Dr. Henry Lowe, Jamaican Scientist, is at the Forefront

Dr. Henry Lowe, a recent MMERI Videocast guest, grabs the attention of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with his cannabis research and its intersection with COVID-19. To read the full article, COVID Drug Hope, click and learn more about this exciting development. If you missed the recent MMERI Videocast featuring this incredible thought-leader, you may watch it here. Dr. Lowe is a PhD and CEO of Flavocure, R&D Biotech, and Medicanja.
MMERI has developed a Basic Education Course
The goal of the MMERI Basic Education course is to educate participants about marijuana for medical use and the impact of unlawful use of marijuana. The course is designed to provide a basic overview which includes: definitions; a history of marijuana use; criminalization; changes in perception; Florida Law; medicinal uses; medical marijuana qualifying conditions, qualifying physicians, unlawful marijuana use and mental illness, information from the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Usage; safety issues in administering medical marijuana; prevention of unlawful use; intervention strategies and referral resources for assistance.

Information for the course is gleaned from community forums held around the state, MMERI Forum Radio Podcasts, evidence-based pedagogy, and research from various areas, including the Florida Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),National Institute of Health (NIH), etc.

Additionally, a pre- and post-test has been developed to establish a participant’s baseline learning and to measure gains in knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
MMERI's Train the Trainer Program
Training Session Coming Soon!

The MMERI team is in the final stages of launching its Train the Trainer education outreach program. The program is designed to provide training to individuals who will successfully deliver, facilitate, and disseminate educational programs and services within their respective communities to advance the Legislative Authorization of educating minorities about marijuana for medical use and the consequences of unlawful use of marijuana in minority communities.

The Train the Trainer approach develops a strong talent pool of trainers from which to draw assistance, rather than having only one or two instructors manage everything training related to education. The training will equip instructors with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to incorporate MMERI’s education curricula into their regular interactions with minority groups across the State of Florida.

The Train Trainer approach improves effectiveness, as well as efficiency and productivity and provides trainers with an understanding of how to engage and appeal to diverse learning audiences.
Dr. Gari Tookes, Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative
Dr. Gari Tookes, Graduate Program Director and Assistant Professor of the Department of Social Work, serves as a mini-grant recipient with the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative. Dr. Tookes’ research title is “A Study of the Correlation between the Levels of Awareness and Willingness to Use Medical Marijuana as a Therapeutic Intervention in Individuals of Minority Populations with Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms.” His research team includes: Alandria Rolle, Fungai Mumba and Ashanti White, graduate students from the Department of Social Work; Da’Shaneka Wright, a graduate student with the Institute of Public Health; Shamar Banks, a graduate of the Department of Social Work; and Ms. Ivory Avant, Adjunct Professor in the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities’ Department of Social Work. The study utilized a mixed-method research approach to explore the awareness and willingness to use medical marijuana as a therapeutic intervention among individuals of minority races experiencing post-traumatic stress symptoms.

The study anticipated a majority of participants surveyed would: Identify as a minority race; identify between the ages of 25-49 years of age; identify with at least one symptom in one of the four clusters of posttraumatic stress disorder; report an increase in the level of awareness in medical marijuana laws, policies, and its use; and receive education information in efforts to raise awareness on medical marijuana, medicinal cards, low THC cannabis, and medical marijuana dispensaries. In addition, this study was purposed to identify a correlation between participants of the minority race experience with trauma, awareness and willingness to use medical marijuana in lieu of psychotropic medication among those with posttraumatic stress symptoms. The study will assist in promoting further research between minority attitudes toward therapeutic interventions for behavioral health issues and identify potential effects in treatment options to address those issues.
HBCU Connection

Please be informed of an exciting development at fellow HBCU, Southern University. The link provides information on their first-to-market [from an HBCU] hemp-derived CBD product line, Alafia. Congratulations to the leaders in this space at Southern University!
What You Should Know: Q & A

381.986 Medical use of marijuana
The statute describes “Low-THC cannabis” and marijuana as:

(e) “ Low-THC cannabis” means a plant of the genus Cannabis, the dried flowers of which contain 0.8 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol and more than 10 percent of cannabidiol weight for weight; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; or any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant or its seeds or resin that is dispensed from a medical marijuana treatment center.

(f) “ Marijuana” means all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin, including low-THC cannabis, which are dispensed from a medical marijuana treatment center for medical use by a qualified patient.

Caregiver means a Florida resident who has agreed to assist with a patient’s medical use of marijuana, has a use registry ID card, and meets the statutory requirements to qualify for the position. This person is also called a legal representative in prior documentation from the Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

Chronic nonmalignant pain means pain that is caused by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition

Marijuana delivery device means an object used, intended for use, or designed for use in preparing, storing, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana into the human body, and which is dispensed from a medical marijuana treatment center for medical use by a qualified patient, except that delivery devices intended for the medical use of marijuana by smoking need not be dispensed from a medical marijuana treatment center in order to qualify as marijuana delivery devices.
MMERI Forum Radio & Videocast
MMERI Forum Radio and MMERI Videocast has expanded its reach to inform and educate about marijuana for medical use and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana. We are excited to welcome two new show hosts, Scheril Murray Powell, Attorney and Executive Director, Black Farmers and Agriculturalists of Florida ( click here to read bio); and Guylene Berry, CEO, Sak Pase Media ( click here to read bio). These dynamic professionals will foster discussions in the rural and Haitian Creole communities, respectively. Plans are in motion to expand further into the Hispanic and Asian communities. The regular weekly shows will resume with hosts, Angela Hardiman, MMERI public affairs liaison, Patricia Green-Powell, PhD., MMERI interim executive director, and Cynthia Hughes Harris, MMERI research chair.

Find episodes on Facebook on our “Conversations on Cannabis” page, on Instagram: @famucannabis and Twitter: @famucannabis.
Visit mmeri.famu.edu/repository to find MMERI's digital resources.

Visit www.knowthefactsmmj.com to learn more on how to obtain a medical marijuana card.
Get In The Network!
Sign Up and Join Us! Visitmmeri.famu.edu
Email Us:  mmeri@famu.edu

Patricia Green-Powell, PhD
MMERI Interim Executive Director
(850) 561-2456

Angela Hardiman
MMERI Public Affairs Liaison
(850) 561-2522

Cynthia Hughes Harris, PhD
Dean, FAMU School of Allied Health Sciences,
MMERI Research Chair
(850) 599-3818

Florida A&M University
Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI)

625 E. Tennessee Street, Suite 210 • Tallahassee, Florida 32308
(850) 561-2456