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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Florida: Will Lead Medical Marijuana Research Consortium

The State University System of Florida Board of Governors has selected the University of Florida to lead a statewide consortium studying health outcomes related to medical marijuana.

UF will lead the Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research, which will be composed of public and private universities engaged in research on clinical outcomes of medical marijuana.

As the lead institution, UF will receive $1.5 million in annual recurrent funding from the state of Florida to support the research mission of the consortium. The consortium will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of medical marijuana, consider dosing and routes of administration, including study of the effects of smoking medical marijuana versus other methods of consumption.

The research infrastructure proposed by UF will focus on three primary activities to support the consortium: build a data repository known as the Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Repository, or MEMORY, that can track patient outcomes over time; develop a Clinical Research Core, which will provide infrastructure support for prospective studies; and establish a competitive grants program offering $600,000 annually from the state appropriation to participating institutions.

If approved by the consortium’s board, Dr. Almut Winterstein, a professor and chair of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy in the UF College of Pharmacy, will serve as the director of the consortium, administer the grants program and build the MEMORY repository. UF has proposed appointing Dr. Robert Cook, a professor of epidemiology and internal medicine in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions and the UF College of Medicine to direct the Clinical Research Core.

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