Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Monday announced she’s forming a new medical marijuana advisory committee that will look at ways to expand patient access and make other recommendations related to the growing market for the drug.
“This is a plant that not only improves people’s quality of life, it’s an alternative to sometimes-dangerous pharmaceuticals and addictive opioids,” Fried said in a written statement. “It’s a medicine that an overwhelming majority of Floridians came together for, calling for constitutionally guaranteed access.”
Committee members include Kim Rivers, the CEO of Trulieve, a medical marijuana company; Barry Gordon, a Sarasota County doctor who has been at the forefront of the medical marijuana movement; Michelle Weiner, a South Florida doctor who is a university researcher in the use of cannabis for chronic pain; Jacel Delgadillo, who founded the nonprofit group, CannaMoms, to help children like her son who suffer from epilepsy; and Karen Seeb Goldstein, executive director of NORML of Florida.
(For a complete list of the committee members, click here).
Fried said the 18-member panel will meet every other month to develop recommendations to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use and the Legislature. Holly Bell, the state’s cannabis director, will oversee the effort.
“From affordability to accessibility and safety, we have a moral obligation to act in the best interest of Florida’s patients, and to improve and build progress on our state’s current medical marijuana policies to best deliver this important medicine – and the medical marijuana advisory committee will help us deliver,” Fried said.