(a) The present state of knowledge concerning the use of marijuana to alleviate pain and treat illnesses is limited because permission to perform clinical studies on marijuana is difficult to obtain, with access to research-grade marijuana so restricted that little or no unbiased studies have been performed.
(b) Under the State Constitution, marijuana is available for the treatment of certain debilitating medical conditions.
(c) Additional clinical studies are needed to ensure that the residents of this state obtain the correct dosing, formulation, route, modality, frequency, quantity, and quality of marijuana for specific illnesses.
(d) An effective medical marijuana research and education program would mobilize the scientific, educational, and medical resources that presently exist in this state to determine the appropriate and best use of marijuana to treat illness.
(3) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Board” means the Medical Marijuana Research and Education Board.
(b) “Coalition” means the Coalition for Medical Marijuana Research and Education.
(c) “Marijuana” has the same meaning as provided in s. 29, Art. X of the State Constitution.
(4) COALITION FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA RESEARCH AND EDUCATION.—
(a) There is established within the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Inc., the Coalition for Medical Marijuana Research and Education. The purpose of the coalition is to conduct rigorous scientific research, provide education, disseminate research, and guide policy for the adoption of a statewide policy on ordering and dosing practices for the medical use of marijuana. The coalition shall be physically located at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Inc.
(b) The Medical Marijuana Research and Education Board is established to direct the operations of the coalition. The board shall be composed of seven members appointed by the chief executive officer of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Inc. Board members must have experience in a variety of scientific and medical fields, including, but not limited to, oncology, neurology, psychology, pediatrics, nutrition, and addiction. Members shall be appointed to 4-year terms and may be reappointed to serve additional terms. The chair shall be elected by the board from among its members to serve a 2-year term. The board shall meet at least semiannually at the call of the chair or, in his or her absence or incapacity, the vice chair. Four members constitute a quorum. A majority vote of the members present is required for all actions of the board. The board may prescribe, amend, and repeal a charter governing the manner in which it conducts its business. A board member shall serve without compensation but is entitled to be reimbursed for travel expenses by the coalition or the organization he or she represents in accordance with s. 112.061.
(c) The coalition shall be administered by a coalition director, who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the board. The coalition director shall, subject to the approval of the board:
1. Propose a budget for the coalition.
2. Foster the collaboration of scientists, researchers, and other appropriate personnel in accordance with the coalition’s charter.
3. Identify and prioritize the research to be conducted by the coalition.
4. Prepare the Medical Marijuana Research and Education Plan for submission to the board.
5. Apply for grants to obtain funding for research conducted by the coalition.
6. Perform other duties as determined by the board.
(d) The board shall advise the Board of Governors, the State Surgeon General, the Governor, and the Legislature with respect to medical marijuana research and education in this state. The board shall explore methods of implementing and enforcing medical marijuana laws in relation to cancer control, research, treatment, and education.
(e) The board shall annually adopt a plan for medical marijuana research, known as the “Medical Marijuana Research and Education Plan,” which must be in accordance with state law and coordinate with existing programs in this state. The plan must include recommendations for the coordination and integration of medical, pharmacological, nursing, paramedical, community, and other resources connected with the treatment of debilitating medical conditions; research related to the treatment of such medical conditions; and education.
(f) By February 15 of each year, the board shall issue a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on research projects, community outreach initiatives, and future plans for the coalition.
(g) Beginning January 15, 2018, and quarterly thereafter, the Department of Health shall submit to the board a data set that includes, for each patient registered in the medical marijuana use registry, the patient’s qualifying medical condition and the daily dose amount and forms of marijuana certified for the patient.
(5) RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE H. LEE MOFFITT CANCER CENTER AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.—The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Inc., shall allocate staff and provide information and assistance, as the coalition’s budget permits, to assist the board in fulfilling its responsibilities.
History.—ss. 1, 11, ch. 2017-232.
1Note.—Section 1, ch. 2017-232, provides that “[i]t is the intent of the Legislature to implement s. 29, Article X of the State Constitution by creating a unified regulatory structure. If s. 29, Article X of the State Constitution is amended or a constitutional amendment related to cannabis or marijuana is adopted, this act shall expire 6 months after the effective date of such amendment.” If such amendment or adoption takes place, s. 1004.4351, as created by s. 11, ch. 2017-232, is repealed.