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Commissioner Nikki Fried Announces New Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried announced a newly-created Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee, which will collaborate with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to help improve the state's medical marijuana policies.

“I'm proud to establish the medical marijuana advisory committee to help expand patient access, and to advance and modernize policies to move Florida into the future of medical marijuana,” stated Commissioner Nikki Fried. “This is a plant that not only improves people's quality of life, it's an alternative to sometimes-dangerous pharmaceuticals and addictive opioids. It's a medicine that an overwhelming majority of Floridians came together for, calling for constitutionally-guaranteed access.”

The new 18-member committee will convene telephonically and in-person bimonthly to work through ways to expand patient access, increase innovation and technology in the industry, and make recommendations to the Legislature and the Department of Health's Office of Medical Marijuana Use to improve Florida's medical marijuana policies and programs. Cannabis Director Holly Bell will be responsible for overseeing the organization of the committee.

“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,” shared Commissioner Nikki Fried. “I'm thankful to all of our committee members for their commitment and look forward to working with them on behalf of Florida's patients.”

Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee Members:

Kim Rivers
Rivers serves as the CEO of Trulieve and has 12 years of experience running successful businesses from real estate to finance as well as years in private practice as a lawyer, specializing in mergers, acquisitions, and securities for multi-million dollar companies.

Barry Gordon, MD
Gordon is one of Florida's most experienced medical cannabis providers. He is the owner and Chief Medical Officer of the Compassionate Cannabis Clinic.

David Kotler
Kotler is a partner in Cohen Kotler P.A. and is Of Counsel to Hoban Law Group in Denver, Colorado, where he's worked on legal issues pertaining to cannabis and hemp.

Dr. Michelle Weiner
Dr. Weiner is certified in Interventional Pain Management and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She researches substituting cannabis for opioids in chronic pain management at Nova Southeastern University and Florida International University.

Zachary Kobrin
Kobrin has served as General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer for a multinational cannabis company and Florida MMTC and currently advises cannabis and hemp industry clients on legal, regulatory and business development issues.

Dan Russell
As an attorney with Dean, Mead & Dunbar, Russell represented one of the initial cannabis dispensing organizations in Florida and continues to represent clients involved in all aspects of legal cannabis.

Dr. David B. Corn
Dr. Corn specializes in podiatry and founded Western Massachusetts Podiatry Associates, PC. He was one of the first medical professionals certified to participate in the Massachusetts medical marijuana program.

Cameron Vance, Ph.D.
Dr. Vance is co-founder and Chief Information Officer at Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinics of Florida where he works with physicians and patients to improve quality of care and patient outcomes.

Sally Kent Peebles
Peebles is a partner at Vicente Sederberg LLP, a national firm specializing in cannabis law and policy. She practiced with the firm in Denver, Colorado before returning to Florida to open the firm's Jacksonville office.

Jacel Delgadillo
Delgadillo, whose son suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a catastrophic form of epilepsy, co-founded the federal nonprofit CannaMoms to help other children like hers and raise awareness on the benefits of medical cannabis.

Eric Stevens
Stevens worked to legalize medical marijuana in Massachusetts before helping to lead the 2014 and 2016 efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. He is currently the Director of Business Development at Kaycha Group, which owns and operates EVIO Labs Florida, ISO accredited cannabis testing labs, and the MJ Buddy App.

Mike Smuts
Smuts is a cannabis industry professional with operations leadership experience across all divisions of several vertically integrated businesses in Colorado and Florida.

Ron Watson
Watson founded a full-service governmental affairs firm focused on healthcare and medical cannabis. He is also the Director of Governmental Relations for MuV, a Florida-based medical cannabis company and was recently the Executive Director of the Florida Society of Cannabis Physicians, which closed after losing its bank.

Antoinette Duncan
Duncan is the President and CEO of Duncan Life Sciences. She has 13 years of experience working with top pharmaceutical, medical device, and cannabis companies, and is currently a member of the ASTM D37 Technical Committee for Cannabis and Minorities for Medical Marijuana.

Peter Barsoom
Prior to founding 1906, an edibles company, Barsoom had an extensive career in finance and business strategy, holding senior management positions at leading institutions including American Express, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, BlueMountain Capital and Intercontinental Exchange. He serves on the board of numerous leading cannabis industry associations including the Marijuana Industry Group, Colorado Leads, and the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association.

Paul Messer
Messer is a Parkinson's Disease patient who is retired from the contract furniture industry and holds a master's degree in social work.

Karen Seeb Goldstein
Goldstein serves as the Executive Director of NORML of and Vice Chairman of Regulate Florida.

Elaine Geller
Geller is the Vice President of Legislative Affairs at Amercanex, a member of the Congressional Cannabis Coalition, and of CanLab. Geller's work focuses on cannabis policy development at the state and federal levels.