Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative

This Blog will Follow this Initiative via The Florida Star newspaper...



Basic Medical Marijuana Education Course

VIDEO HERE


The goal of the MMERI Basic Medical Marijuana 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.


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How Minority Entrepreneurs Could Break into the Legal Cannabis Industry

According to a report by Leafly and Whitney Economics, Florida cannabis businesses added nearly 15,000 jobs in 2020, and sales for the same year grew to $1.2 billion, more than double the amount recorded in 2019. Knowing this, one could see why the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) at Florida A&M University receives dozens of calls and emails each week from people in the minority community asking for insight into starting a business or career in the industry.

Roz McCarthy, Erik Range, and Rebecca Colett are good sources on this topic. Each has made inroads in the billion-dollar cannabis industry and are working to help more minorities do the same.

“Florida is the number one state with regards to career opportunities in this industry,” said McCarthy, founder of Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM) Inc., an Orlando-based 501c3 nonprofit she started to help people of color get into an industry that lacks diversity and inclusion. Although a Marijuana Biz Daily survey shows less than 12% of legal marijuana businesses are minority-owned, McCarthy sees a nascent industry full of opportunities for non-white entrepreneurs and job seekers.

“Cannabis is at mile marker number three or four compared to other industries, so there are many opportunities from an entry point,” she said. “If you’re someone who wants to enter, really look at your skill set and figure out how that transfers over into the cannabis industry. That’s where we as an organization can help you figure that out.”

Erik Range, an Orlando entrepreneur in the cannabis space and chair of M4MM’s board, has and now encourages minorities interested in entering the cannabis trade to consider taking on a supporting role.



“Not everyone needs to be in a dispensary or in a grow business. Minority businesses can get involved in cannabis with everything from janitorial services to landscaping to general contracting. We have minority businesses that provide services across the gambit,” said Range, who

Rebecca Colett, a Florida A&M University graduate, is the owner and CEO of a medical-grade, plant-based business, just not in the Sunshine State. She is the first African American women-owned and operated cannabis cultivation brand in the Midwest. The company, Calyxeum, is based in Detroit. She said she’s often asked how to get into the cannabis industry.

“First, do your research. Do your research and see what the opportunities are,” Colett said. “You have to equip yourself with the education of the business and what it’s going to require from you. If you’re in a city with dispensaries everywhere, who’s supplying them? Who’s distributing to them? Look at the supply chain and see where the gaps are.”

To learn more about business opportunities in the legal cannabis industry, click here to watch MMERI’s Conversations on Cannabis Virtual Forum featuring Roz McCarthy, Erik Range, and Rebecca Colett on YouTube. For more information on medical marijuana, visit MMERI’s website at mmeri.famu.edu/

| April 24, 2021

Special to The Florida Star | The Georgia Star

FAMU MMERI Launches Medical Marijuana Videocast

Episode Features Certified Cannabis Physician Dr. Terel Newton


Florida medical marijuana physician Terel Newton, MD, talked cannabis and COVID-19 as the inaugural guest on the newly-launched Florida A&M University Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative’s (MMERI) videocast. Dr. Newton is a practicing certified cannabis doctor who specializes in pain management. On this inaugural show, he discusses the intersection between cannabis and COVID-19, highlighting respiratory issues and cannabis dosing. FAMU MMERI launched the videocast so that social distancing Floridians could still see the same experts who are featured in MMERI neighborhood public forums. Using teleconferencing technology, the videocast combines the components of the community forum and the successful weekly radio program. MMERI Videocast can be found on MMERI’s Facebook page Conversations on Cannabis. The audio version is available on the radio in 17 Florida counties, under the name MMERI Forum Radio. FAMU’s 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.”   

Videocast – COVID-19 Prevention, Treatment and the Impact on Medical Cannabis Patients (PART 1)


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