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MMERI Fact Sheet

Medical Marijuana

What is medical marijuana?

Section 381.986, Florida Statutes (F.S.), allows for the use of medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis by qualified patients as certified by a qualified physician.

Medical marijuana DOES include THC and will give the user the feeling of being “high.”

Low-THC cannabis contains 0.8 percent or less of THC and does not result in the feeling of being “high.”

What are the potential health (relief) benefits of using medical marijuana?

The benefits known to date are: provides relief from chronic pain, helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting, eases tremors from Parkinson’s Disease, and reduces the numbers of seizures suffered. It has been shown to be helpful with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and HIV/AIDS, among others.

How do I obtain medical marijuana card?

Speak with your doctor and visit to learn about qualifying conditions and to obtain information on applying for a Medical Marijuana Use Registry ID card. The qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use include, but are not limited to, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, chronic pain, PTSD, and HIV/AIDS.

Who are the doctors certified to recommend medical marijuana?

There are more than 2,000 physicians certified to recommend medical marijuana in the state of Florida. Visit to learn more about qualified physicians in your area.

Are there health risks involved with using medical marijuana?

The research is ongoing and inconclusive. The best course of action is to discuss risks with your qualified physician.

What are the laws pertaining to medical marijuana?

The Laws of Florida 2017-232, Section 3, subsection 7(d) (page 14) can be viewed at:

381.986, F.S

Illegal Use of Marijuana

What is illegal marijuana?

“Illegal marijuana” is marijuana that is used/obtained outside of Section 381.986, F.S., including marijuana that is not purchased from a licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC) and marijuana that is used by individuals who are not qualified patients, etc. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law and in many states. You cannot transport marijuana in or out of Florida.

To learn more about the health risks, visit: https:/

About the MMERI

What is the Medical Marijuana education and Research Initiative?

The Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative is focused on educating the state’s diverse minority communities about medical marijuana and the consequences of illegal use of marijuana. Funding is provided by the Florida Department of Health at the direction of the legislature.

Why is FAMU leading the Medical Marijuana education and Research Initiative?

Given the University’s historical role in educating minority students, FAMU is in a unique position to educate Florida’s diverse minority populations about medical marijuana. As a research institution, FAMU offers a vast platform and has the resources to study and understand the science of medical marijuana from diverse multilingual and multicultural perspectives.

How will the new initiative benefit the community and also faculty research at FAMU?

The MMERI’s role is to generate and provide information and research to scholars, and to share that information with the members of Florida’s diverse minority communities in a variety of languages. As a touchstone for scholars on this subject, FAMU faculty is in a position to provide foundational as well as ongoing research studies. Every effort will be made to ensure that updates on the research done by FAMU faculty and others will be shared with communities across the state. The MMERI will maintain an interactive website, provide updates, and conduct community engagement to ensure face-to-face conversations on this important subject.

What will community engagement and education
look like?

Community engagement and education are integral parts of the initiative. We began with relationship and coalition building with leaders, community groups, faith-based organizations, educational institutions, and others. We want you to know who we are and the goals and objectives of the initiative. Now, we are executing a state-wide campaign to include community forums, focus groups, speaker/listener bureaus, workshops, etc. Our staff and regional partners will be visible and active in your communities across the state.

How will the community learn about the consequences of illegal marijuana use and disparities in the criminal justice system as it relates to marijuana criminalization?

We are forming coalitions throughout the state to effectively engage local stakeholders and to ensure the information reaches all concerned.

Who are the state and institutional partners of the initiative?

In addition to the Florida Department of Health, the University will work with a variety of FAMU academic partners, a state- wide network of community and faith-based organizations, a select group of consultants and other interested entities.

What are the goals for the Medical Marijuana education and Research Initiative?

Our mandate from the state legislature is clear: “educate Florida’s diverse minority communities about medical marijuana and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana on minority communities.” Analyses of data collected will demonstrate the efficacy of our outreach efforts to educate the communities. Contributions to the current literature on both aspects will enable FAMU to serve as a touchstone for diversity researchers throughout the state, the country, and globally.

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