FAMU's go-to girl, Patricia Green-Powell, Ph.D., has been named interim executive director of the FAMU Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative. Her appointment is effective immediately.
She will oversee all medical marijuana initiatives and research at FAMU and serve as the primary liaison to other campus units, the Office of the President, FAMU Board of Trustees and the Florida Department of Health.
Previously, Green-Powell served as the interim dean of the College of Education for two years, until July 1. In 2016 she served as the interim vice president for FAMU’s Brooksville Agricultural and Environmental Research Station (BAERS). Green-Powell began her tenure at FAMU in 2003 as the vice president for Student Affairs under former President Fred Gainous.
Green-Powell replaces Peter Harris who was hired in October 2018, Harris was paid $125,000. At the time, Harris was billed as a “veteran lobbyist,” yet a search of the state’s online lobbyist database revealed that Harris had not had a client in nearly a decade.
The circumstances surrounding Harris's sudden departure are not yet known. However, it was apparent that legislators and the Florida Department of Health had grown frustrated with FAMU's lack of action the medical marijuana research and public information area.
In 2017 the Florida Legislature approved the use of marijuana for medicinal proposes and it did something that no other state had done by mandating that $10 from the sale of each identification card fee go to FAMU, the state’s only public HBCU. The money directed to FAMU is intended to be used to conduct a public information campaign to educate the state’s minority populations about the potential benefits of medical marijuana and the pitfalls of smoking or selling illegal pot.
It wasn't until this year that FAMU began to rollout the program.